By Emily Banks Wooten
The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, along with other constituents, is taking exception with the controversial word choice used by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas during a recent call with reporters regarding the election of Mike Johnson as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives following three weeks of infighting among the GOP.
“Good reports about him as a person but the jury’s out in terms of his ability to deal with this bunch of wild Indians over in the House,” Cornyn said.
“At this time in our country’s history, we are curious as to why Sen. Cornyn would use this derogatory phrase,” Chairman Ricky Sylestine and other members of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas Tribal Council said in a statement released Tuesday.
“We would welcome any opportunity for him to explain why he thinks the verbiage he used was appropriate or necessary,” Sylestine said.
The president of the National Congress of American Indians, a nonprofit representing tribes from across the country, called the comment “derogatory” and “deeply disrespectful.
“It perpetuates damaging stereotypes about our diverse and vibrant American Indian and Alaska Native communities,” Fawn Sharp said.