Target: Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown
Goal: Apologize for political campaign’s racist behavior against Native Americans and punish staffer’s responsible for public displays of racism
A video has been released showing senior staff members of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown’s campaign committee engaging in racist and offensive behavior. The video was captured at a recent campaign rally where Brown’s staffers were seen performing tomahawk chops and war whoops, actions meant to mock the Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, who claims Native American ancestry.
Clearly, such actions not only insult Ms. Warren but the entirety of Native American cultures and peoples that call the United States home. Senator Brown must ensure that those staff members responsible for this inappropriate behavior are held accountable.
Bill John Baker, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, expressed his grave disappointment and disgust, expressing particular alarm that the perpetrators were high ranking staff members in both the senate office and the Brown reelection campaign. In a statement, Baker, a Democratic delegate to the party’s national convention, went on to say, “We need individuals in the United States Senate who respect Native Americans and have an understanding of tribal issues.” The actions of Senator Brown’s staff hardly seem to live up to this standard and reflect poorly on the ideals the Senator will bring to office if reelected.
Ms. Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, says that she was told growing up that she was descended from a Cherokee woman—a claim that has left a big shadow over the campaign. Senator Brown has demanded proof of Warren’s assertion and has accused her of leveraging her minority status in professional settings.
Unfortunately, the records that Brown wants most likely do not exist; the time period in question produced few such documents. And Harvard Law School, as well as past employers, have affirmed that Warren’s native ancestry did not affect her applications. Nevertheless, Senator Brown has persisted in his accusations, going so far as to say at a public debate that Ms. Warren’s lack of native blood was evident by her appearance.
Tell Senator Brown that his staff’s racist and offensive behavior will not be tolerated and that the perpetrators must face consequences.
Dear Senator Brown,
The recently released video depicting your staff’s racist and offensive behavior casts an unsettling shadow over your campaign. Performing tomahawk chops and war whoops in any situation is unacceptable and insults the entirety of the native cultures and peoples that populate our country. I ask that those members of your staff responsible for these actions face proper consequences.
I also ask that you reframe from further attacks on Ms. Elizabeth Warren’s Native American ancestry. An inordinate amount of attention on race and ethnicity is having a negative impact on this campaign and serving as an affront to Native American peoples.
I appreciate your consideration of these important issues.
[Your Name Here]