November 02, 2012

"Not an Indian" sign for Brown

Controversy Over Haverhill Scott Brown ‘Not An Indian’ SignA political sign is sparking controversy in Haverhill.

A businessman put up a sign on his building that reads, “Re-elect Scott Brown, Lt. Col US Army, not an Indian.”

He says the sign refers to Elizabeth Warren’s claim that she’s part Native American.

But the Greater Haverhill Civil Rights Commission is demanding the sign be taken down, saying it’s insulting to Native Americans and casts a negative light on the city.

“What if it read, “Vote for mitt Romney, not the black? Or vote for Barack Obama, not the Mormon? This particular sign does convey hate, commission member Rabbi Ira Korinow said. “It just doesn’t belong in our community,”

But John Caruso, the man who put up the sign, is adamant that the sign stay in place.

He says the sign wasn’t meant to be offensive to anyone other than Elizabeth Warren, and it’s about freedom of speech.

“If someone feels that I have insulted them, I apologize for hurting their feelings. But I think you need to look at the sign more closely and understand it doesn’t have anything to do being an Indian. It has to do with honesty and integrity, explaining out that one person has honesty and integrity and the other person has demonstrated she does not,” he said. “If I had one regret, it’s that I probably should have put ‘not a fake Indian, alluding to the fact that Liz Warren did claim at one point in time to be an Indian.’”

The Brown campaign has reportedly requested that Caruso take down the sign. Citing free speech, the city says it doesn’t have the power to order Caruso to do so.

Comment:  This sign is a Freudian slip that reveals what Caruso and his ilk really think.

Conservatives like them dislike "elitists," liberals, and minorities with a passion. They consider them part of the 47% who are takers, not givers. Conservatives think these people sit around mooching off the government and dreaming up ways to take money from "real Americans."

Caruso's slip was posting "not an Indian" rather than "not a fake Indian." To Caruso and company, it's a valid criticism either way. If Warren is a fake Indian, she's dishonest. If she's a real Indian, she's also dishonest. Because Indians are part of the 47% who supposedly want free handouts from the government.

This kind of thinking is behind the racist war whoops, tomahawk chops, and ethnic slurs directed at Warren. Again, being an Indian and pretending to be one are roughly the same thing to her critics. Either way, they believe she's outside the American norm. She's a skulking thief, attacking people with affirmative action claims, stealing jobs from their rightful owners.

Indian or fake Indian?

Whether she's an Indian or not makes only a minor difference. When her claims went unsubstantiated, conservatives could vent their racist rage at her. Since she seemed to be white, they could mock her with racist gibes. Like countless hipsters in headdresses, they could claim their racism was "ironic" or "satirical."

If she had substantiated her identity, conservatives would've had to halt the overt racism. They would've had to disguise their racist rage. Instead, they would've taunted her with the same insinuations they used against Obama. She doesn't share "our" values...doesn't understand America...has a "foreign" outlook...etc.

We saw how this conservative racism played out in the Bono Mack case. Bono Mack called her Latino opponent un-American simply for supporting Indians against the mainstream culture. That's similar to the criticism Obama has received, and it's what Warren would've received if she'd proved she was an Indian.

So thanks, Caruso, for revealing what white conservatives really think. Vote for the candidate who's "not an Indian" and doesn't support them. Vote for white people--Mitt Romney, Scott Brown, Mary Bono Mack--"like us."

For more on Elizabeth Warren, see Brown Is "Bay State Birther" and My Thoughts on Brown vs. Warren. For more on conservative racism, see Majority of Americans Are Racist and Conservative Admits Welfare-Bashing Is Racial.

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