Montana Republican lashes out at Indian Democrats

A Montana Republican who was rebuked for referring to an Indian lawmaker as "chief" attacked the INDN's List, a Democratic group, for calling attention to the controversy.

INDN's List recently sent an e-mail to supporters about Rep. Ed Butcher's actions towards Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy, a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. Butcher responded via the group's web site with an angry message.

"You left-wing radicals should get a life with your 'political correct' nonsense!" he wrote. "In case you have lived outside the mainstream for too long, the word 'chief' is used as a descriptive term for someone in leadership -- I have been called that on numerous occasions and I sure as heck did not see that as a racial slur since my Viking ancestors were also called 'chief'"

In his response, Butcher claimed he and Windy Boy are "good friends." But Windy Boy, in previously published comments, indicated that wasn't really the case.

I've known Ed for a long time, and I don't expect anything different," Windy Boy told The Great Falls Tribune. "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

Kalyn Free, a member of the Choctaw Nation and the founder of INDN's List, said Butcher's comments were racist and his response to the group further demonstrates it. "Rep. Butcher knows that [it was racist], which is why he apologizes in public -- on the House floor == while insulting and dismissing genuinely concerned citizens in the privacy of his emails," Free told The Native American Times.

Get the Story:
Rep. Butcher and INDN's List exchange words over comments made to Rep Windyboy (The Native American Times 2/9)

Related Stories
Monteau: Republicans and the politics of exclusion (2/8)
Montana Republican rebuked for 'chief' comments (01/08)