The head of the Native American Journalists Association is calling on Michael Steele to apologize for his "scurrilous tongue" in the wake of a derogatory statement the RNC Chairman made about Native Americans.
Ronnie Washines, who heads the association, accused Steele of resorting to "uneducated archaic racist remarks" when he used the phrase "Honest Injun" on Sean Hannity's radio show to underscore his support for the RNC's document of principles.
"I am thoroughly outraged that the leader of the National Republican Party would use such repulsive language on national television," said Washines. "Those of us in journalism have tirelessly worked to ensure that political leaders, newsrooms and the public be respectful to all cultures when speaking publicly. Michael Steele's scurrilous tongue does no service to his group and only undermines the positive work of those who sincerely seek to respect one another in all of our working relationships. I urge Michael Steele to carefully word a sincere apology to the Native American community, which could help stop such uneducated archaic racist remarks from being made in the future. We here at NAJA are available to assist him and his organization with obtaining an accurate understanding of Native America."
Washines's rebuke comes days after similar push back was offered by Rep. Dale Kildee, (D-Mich), who co-chairs the Congressional Native American Caucus.
ThinkProgress received a statement from Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) in response to Steele's remarks:
It's unacceptable. And while I'm certain Chairman Steele didn't intend it that way, it's an offensive phrase in the Native American community.
But if the two are hoping for a mea culpa from Steele, they shouldn't hold their breath. Steele was utterly unapologetic (indeed, almost proud) of the comment during an appearance on the Dennis Miller radio show on Friday.
Miller: Political correctness has to be attached like a fortress because people are ready for it to fall right now. They are just laying in the weeds for you. People don't know, Mike is catching some heat right now for this honest Injun thing. I think it is time for somebody like you, literate erudite to step up and just say, hey, enough of this crap.
Steele: Well I did. This morning I got into it on another program. I laid it out there. I said look you want o come after me, you want to do this job then take it from me. But until then, shut up and get in line.... This is why are at 22 percent approval in the polls, why no one wants to identify with us because we spend more time tearing each other down as opposed to talking about those principles that have defined us for generations.