GOP leader uses 'Honest Injun' on talk show program

The Republican National Committee says it has received a lot of calls about racially-tinged remarks made by Chairman Michael Steele but no apologies have been issued for the user of the phrase "Honest Injun."

Steele appeared on the Sean Hannity show on Fox News on January 4. He said the Republican Party's conservative principles won't be changing.

"Honest Injun on that," the first African-American to lead the GOP said on the show.

The incident drew criticism from Democrats and even one Republican. "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," Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), the only Native American in Congress, told Think Progress.

But after Steele apparently apologized on another Fox News program this past Sunday, Cole was grateful. "He called himself an honest Injun, so clearly he didn't mean it as a derogatory term," Cole said. "I take the chairman at his word."

Get the Story:
No harm, no foul, congressman says (The Tulsa World 1/12)
GOP leader uses racist term (Indian Country Today 1/12)