Native American Caucus head demands Steele apologize for 'racist' comment
By Michael O'Brien - 01/05/10 04:48 PM ET
The Co-Chairman of the Congressional Native American Caucus demanded an apology from RNC Chairman Michael Steele for using a "racist" phrase on national television.
Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), the Democratic co-chairman of the caucus, slammed the Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman for having used the phrase "honest Injun" during an appearance on Fox News.
"I am outraged and disgusted that the head of the National Republican Party would make such a derogatory and offensive statement about Native Americans on national television," Kildee said in a statement. "In an effort to cover up Michael Steele’s racist comment, Fox News altered the transcript online to read ‘honest engine’ instead of ‘honest Injun.’"
Steele has come under fire on Tuesday for that statement, as well as predicting that Republicans are unlikely to win back control of Congress this fall.
Kildee demanded an apology from Steele, who is the first African-American head of the Republican Party.
"His insensitive comment undermines and threatens to reverse the progress we have made to correct those wrongs. A cursory look through a dictionary or even some knowledge of Native American history would show Mr. Steele that the term is a racial slur for Native Americans," Kildee said. "I strongly urge Mr. Steele to publicly apologize to the Native American community immediately for his derogatory comment.”