GOP candidate compared jihadists to 'bad guys' in Westerns

Indianz.Com on YouTube: Mike Huckabee on 'bad guys' in Westerns

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee made a splash on Tuesday when he announced he was seeking the Republican nomination for president but one of the comments in his fiery speech is drawing negative attention.

Huckabee compared "radical jihadists" to the "bad guys" in Western movies. Although he didn't say it, the comparison was clear -- the "bad guys" are always the Indian people.

“When I hear our current president say he wants Christians to get off their high horse so we can make nice with radical jihadists, I wonder if he can watch a Western from the ‘50s and be able to figure out who the good guys and the bad guys really are,”
Huckabee said, drawing applause from his supporters as he criticized President Barack Obama.

The comment didn't draw much attention at the time. But now National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby is speaking out about Huckabee's "hurtful" use of stereotypes.

“This week I learned about Governor Huckabee’s speech announcing his candidacy for U.S. President and was dismayed to hear him compare Native Americans to jihadists," Cladoosby said. "There are many things we have left behind from the 1950’s, including overt racism and sexism. We hope that the old trope of the Indians as the bad guys in Western movies is also left behind."

"It is hurtful when public officials use stereotypes of Indians as the 'bad guys.' Even if it is a metaphorical expression, racial stereotypes should be avoided," Cladoosby added. "It is particularly hurtful to suggest that Americans should reflexively identify images of Native people defending our homelands as the 'bad guys.'"

The Democratic National Committee also questioned the remark. In a statement to Indian Country Today, the Democrats said Huckabee has made a career of offending ethnic, racial and religious minorities.

“Native Americans have a proud heritage, and deserve better than to be compared to jihadists as part of a GOP candidate’s cheap joke," the DNC told ICT. "Sadly, this is what people have come to expect from GOP candidates who constantly push policies and views that are harmful to Americans. Mike Huckabee’s offensive, outdated, and divisive social views have no place in the 21st century.”

Get the Story:
Candidate Mike Huckabee Connects Native Americans With Jihadists During Speech; DNC Responds (Indian Country Today 5/6)

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