In the last few months, a Democrat running for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts has been in hot water for saying something every third person Oklahoma seems to say: “I’m Cherokee but I can’t prove it.” Only she left out the “I can’t prove it” part on her bio and law school applications. The candidate, Elizabeth Warren, has been called out on it repeatedly by her opponent, incumbent U.S. Senator Scott Brown. Then in the last couple of days, some of Brown’s staff made fun of Warren with the tired ol’ “Tomahawk Chop” song that has featured prominently at Florida State and Atlanta Braves games over the last few decades. Click here to see the idiots from the Brown campaign for yourself.
Aside from watching white people act stupid and yell at each other (which is always entertaining), why do we care what happens when Bostonians sneak some Indian-mockery into the middle of their “Yankees suck” chants?
Because our Chief, Bill John Baker, cares. Within hours of the event, he issued a statement saying, “The use of stereotypical ‘war whoop chants’ and ‘tomahawk chops’ are offensive and downright racist…I will not be silent when individuals mock and insult our people and our great nation.”
A very quick response, but not surprising considering Baker’s declared affiliation with the Democratic Party. To some, it appears the chief is using the Cherokee Nation’s credibility to back his preferred Democratic candidate. For instance, the blogger Polly’s Granddaughter says:
“Because Chief Baker was a Democratic National Delegate this year, I believe his statement was politically motivated and meant to give the Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Warren, a boost. But what Elizabeth Warren has done is much worse, in my humble opinion, than any tomahawk chop Brown's people have done. By taking a Cherokee identity she has no right to, she has committed an act of colonization. She has usurped Indigenous identity, just as her ancestors stole the land and resources. It's a hostile act of genocide and it is not okay.
But Baker is willing to overlook that. He said, "I will not be silent when individuals mock and insult our people and our great nation." I think what he meant was he will not be silent when Republican individuals mock and insult our people and our great nation. At least that is what his actions say.”
To the point, Baker has been Chief since last October, during which there have been at least half a dozen Florida State University football games where 70,000 plus fans go to great lengths to do exactly what a couple of Brown supporters half-heartedly attempt: they “mock and insult” en masse.So Baker’s not really against that behavior, he’s against Republicans-- but he’s using hollow cries of racism and the credibility of the Cherokee Nation to help a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Massachusetts.
If Baker wants to take a stand we suggest he build up some street cred by taking on Florida State first. Otherwise, Cherokees should consider that Baker is putting out news releases based on what the National Democratic Party wants him to say, rather than what is best for the Cherokee people who elected him.
|It's OK--he's a Democrat.|