Bill John Baker, the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, is not happy with what the staffers and supporters of Senator Scott Brown have been doing at rallies. Recently, video of Brown’s supporters and staffers engaging in ‘war whoop chants’ and ‘tomahawk chops’ as an attempt to mock his challenger Elizabeth Warren for citing her Native American ancestry in a Harvard guidebook.
“The Cherokee Nation is disappointed in and denounces the disrespectful actions of staffers and supporters of Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. The conduct of these individuals goes far beyond what is appropriate and proper in political discourse. The use of stereotypical ‘war whoop chants’ and ‘tomahawk chops’ are offensive and downright racist. The individuals involved in this unfortunate incident are high ranking staffers in both the senate office and the Brown campaign. A campaign that would allow and condone such offensive and racist behavior must be called to task for their actions.”
“The Cherokee Nation is a modern, productive society, and I am blessed to be their chief. I will not be silent when individuals mock and insult our people and our great nation. We need individuals in the United States Senate who respect Native Americans and have an understanding of tribal issues. For that reason, I call upon Sen. Brown to apologize for the offensive actions of his staff and their uneducated, unenlightened and racist portrayal of native peoples.”
Brown has routinely attacked Warren for her Native American ancestry, and claimed that he could tell that she isn’t Native American just by looking at her. Brown was asked about the staffer’s actions, but rather than solidly condemning them, stated that the real offense was in Warren listing herself as Native American and, about the staffer’s actions “That’s not something I condone. That’s certainly something, if I am aware of it, I would tell that member not to do it again. I know everyone is in the throes of the political season. I ask everyone to show real class and decorum on both sides.”
It should be noted that Baker was a Democratic delegate to the national convention in Charlotte, NC.