By Rafael Martínez Alequín
Representatives of Native American tribes and organizations call on Mayor Bloomberg to apologize for his racially insensitive remarks telling Governor Paterson to ' Get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun' to confront tribes selling cigarettes on their reservations.
On John Gambling's radio show, Mayor Bloombito said: "And you know, the Indians said, 'We're going to shut down the roads if you don't let us continue to sell cigarettes without taxes.'
"Now, whe every governor -- I've said this to David Paterson, I said, you know, 'Get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun. If there's ever a great video, it's you standing in the middle of the New York State Thruway saying, you know, 'Read my lips -- the law of the land is this, and we're going to enforce the law.' But the, just think about it." See Videos 1 and 2 bellow
video by Rafael Martínez Alequín fo YFP
Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP
Ginew Benton, an Ojbway-Cree and resident of the Shinnecock Reservation on Long Island, led a chant for "leadership" during this afternoon's protest on the steps of City Hall.
More than 50 representatives of Native American tribes and groups condemned what they denounced as “racist” and insensitive stereotypical remarks about Native Americans. They denounced Mayor Bloomberg’s Aug. 13 comments on his weekly WOR radio show with John Gambling, cracking that Gov. Paterson should put an end to unpaid cigarette taxes on upstate reservations by, ”Get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun” and stand in the middle of the NY Thruway and enforce the law.
The protesters said that for them, cowboys and shotguns evoke the perpetrators of massacres of Indian tribes in American history and are no joking matter.
“Why doesn’t he just apologize?” said George Stonefish of the American Indian community House, who organized the demonstration.