Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Jon Keller (c) moderates first debate between Republican
Senator Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth
Warren.  Photo by Barry Chin, Boston Globe staff
       For incumbent Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown to start off his debate with his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren by questioning her Native American roots, on the basis of her fair-skinned appearance, was akin to the birthers’ charge that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and therefore is disqualified to be President of the United States.
        Both charges are shamefully racist. Brown’s attack on his opponent’s heritage was compounded on Tuesday by a disgusting video featuring several members of his staff leading a sign-waving crowd of chanting war whoopers and tomahawk choppers, whose antics were as disparaging to all Native Americans as they were intended to be insulting to Professor Warren.
        When asked about it, Brown said it was something he didn’t condone, but then, instead of apologizing for his staff’s inappropriate behavior, he tacitly excused them by immediately accusing Professor Warren of being the real offender!
        Right-wing Republicans have been quick to join in the attack. But many others have rushed to Elizabeth Warren’s defense as well. They rightly point out that Warren never claimed to be a member (citizen) of a tribe. What she said was that she has Native American roots on her mother’s side, and the records have shown that to be true.
        It’s a sad state of affairs when a United States Senator has to make his opponent’s racial heritage the central focus of his argument against her.

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