U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez apologized for an ethnically touchy gaffe & racist comments at Democratic convention
Anaheim, May 19, 2015
Loretta Sanchez, U.S. Rep., who is running to replace California's retiring Sen. Barabara Boxer apologized for making a stereotypical Native American “war cry” gesture that disrupted the opening phase of her campaign, when hundreds of delegates at the state Democratic Party convention in Anaheim attended. The state Democratic started on Friday and ended Sunday.
Loretta Sanchez was joking with a group of Indian Americans (NRIs) about confusing an Indian American with a Native American. Video of the gaffe on YouTube and Twitter and showed Sanchez tapping her hand to her mouth in an imitation of a war cry.
NRI (NON-RESIDENT-INDIANS) called the comments racist. "I was shocked and appalled that she would make the disparaging comments about Native Americans that way and It's very undemocratic." Surinder Verma who was audience told NRIpress by telephone.
NRI Kamala Harris, also a Democrat, an opponent of Loretta Sanchez laughed and said, "I don't know what to say to that, except that...that's shocking. That's shocking." according to THE CNN press report.
Rep. Sanchez began her congressional career in January of 1997 and is currently serving her tenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. She holds senior positions on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee. She is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and serves as the co-chair of the Immigration Task Force.
US lawmaker apologises for Indian 'war cry', Indian-Americans shocked
Washington, May 19, 2015: A veteran US house member who stirred a major controversy by making a gesture mocking native Americans or American Indians, has apologised even as a shocked Indian-American community expressed outrage.
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 candidates "who don't hide behind the handlers sometimes misstep.
Speaking to an American Indian group in Anaheim on Saturday, 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'.
In talking about how she was confused about an upcoming meeting with an Indian American, 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 on Sunday 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."
Harris called the action "shocking" and said there was no place for it in public discourse, according to Sacramento Bee.
Her spokesman Nathan Click said Sunday "the attorney general thinks Congresswoman Sanchez was right to apologise for her comment. She hopes this campaign will be about uniting all Californians".
"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 quoted as saying by Los Angeles Times.
However, Aaruni Thakur, one of the hosts of Saturday's reception, said Sanchez's overall speech was "very positive" for the Indian American community.
"I really think what she said is being taken out of context," said Thakur, 35. "We understood what she was trying to say."
Saturday's stumble could haunt Sanchez 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 the Times.....IANS