California Democrat Loretta Sanchez Apologises to Indian Americans

May 19, 2015 16:06
California Democrat Loretta Sanchez Apologises to Indian Americans

A veteran US house member stirred a major controversy by making a gesture mocking native Americans or American Indians. California Democrat Loretta Sanchez, who is opposing the state's Indian-American attorney general Kamala Harris for the party's nomination for a 2016 Senate run said that the candidates who don't hide behind the handlers sometimes misstep. While speaking to an American Indian group in Anaheim, she was caught on mobile phone video, raising her hand in front of her mouth and making a whooping sound like a typical native Indian 'war cry'. She said: "I'm going to his office, thinkin' that I'm gonna go meet with woo-woo-woo-woo, right? 'Cause he said 'Indian American.'"

Sanchez apologised at the state convention, saying "in this crazy and exciting rush of meetings yesterday, I said something offensive and for that, I sincerely apologise." "Those of you who put yourselves out there like I do, who open your heart and who don't hide behind handlers you know how hard it can be," she said. "It's hard to put yourself out there and do what leaders need to do day in and day out. Sooner or later, we all make mistakes. We're all human. But that is the only way to truly connect with people. You can't change the world from behind a desk."

"I was taken aback, as many others in the audience were, at her insensitivity, which immediately alienated non-Indian guests as well," Sayu Bhojwani, New York City's former commissioner of immigrant affairs, was saying.

Aaruni Thakur, one of the hosts said, "I really think what she said is being taken out of context,. We understood what she was trying to say."

Sanchez’s stumble will definitely haunt her in the coming months, Karthick Ramakrishnan, professor of public policy at University of California, Riverside and a researcher on political participation by Asian Americans told.

It is outrageous that native Americans do not accept people whose ancestors have migrated to US even centuries back and the present generation is born and brought-up in America, as Americans, instead they term the migrants as Indian American or so. This is a kind of racist attitude and against equality.

By Premji

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US lawmaker  American  Indian-American  Democrat