Online Petition Seeks to Force Loretta Sanchez to Apologize to OC Native Americans: Update

Loretta Sanchez is wound up before a local television appearance.
Loretta Sanchez is wound up before a local television appearance.
KOCE

UPDATE, MAY 28, 2:42 P.M.: The campaign for an in-person meeting with Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) so she can apologize to Native Americans over remarks she made recently has moved from the real world to the virtual world.

Click here to check out the online petition that just went up and is explained thusly:

Loretta Sanchez has claimed to make a mistake when she did a racist gesture about Native Americans, but has not directly acknowledged her mistake to the Native community in person. Congresswoman Sanchez has REFUSED to meet with the Orange County Native American community. We request your support in signing this petition: "Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, we ask that you make it right and immediately meet with the Orange County Native American community and acknowledge your mistake."

ORIGINAL POST, MAY 27, 7:03 A.M.:

Disclaimer: Out of respect for our Native American brothers and sisters, the following post refrains from uses of "warpath," "war paint," "scalping," the "woo-woo-woo" sound (EXCEPT in reference to its divisive use by a certain someone) as well as the names of several professional sports teams.

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Kamala Harris could not have planned it better: Orange County Native American residents met in Garden Grove Tuesday evening to "take a stand against" Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove).

Slippery Loretta Sanchez Darts By TV News Crew After Making Native American Gaffe

That's because, less than 48 hours into her U.S. Senate campaign that so far pits her against Harris on the Democratic side, Sanchez made a nationally televised and replayed gaffe before a gathering of Native Americans at the state party's convention in Anaheim earlier this month.

"I am going to his office, thinking that I am going to meet with a ..."--Sanchez then tapped her hand on her mouth and said, "Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo!" or the stereotypical battle cry of attacking Indian warriors--"Right? ... because he said Indian American."

The 19-year congresswoman then dodged reporters trying to find out if she realized she had just offended a gathering of Native Americans.

Hours later, after cooler heads and campaign handlers no doubt prevailed, Sanchez appeared before a local television camera to apologize.

"[I]n this crazy and exciting rush of meetings yesterday, I said something offensive and for that, I sincerely apologize," said Sanchez, who'd earlier informed conventioneers "that like so many Mexican Americans, I am proudly Native American on my mother's side."

That's not enough for organizers of Tuesday evening's rally. They say they have made phone calls and written letters to Sanchez's office seeking to have her "make it right" by meeting with the Native American community.

"Congresswoman Sanchez REFUSES to meet with the Native American community and REFUSES to apologize in person," say the organizers. "Congresswoman Sanchez makes a camera apology at the State Democratic Convention, but NO apology has been made to the Native American community."

Heading into the gathering at the Holiday Inn Express in Garden Grove, some Native Americans let their feelings be known about the outburst by the 19-year Member of Congress.

"The usage of words from Loretta Sanchez to describe who I am as a Native American is intolerable," says Pascual Casey, elder of the San Carlos Apache Nation and an OC resident.

"If Ms. Sanchez did that sound about us Native Americans, then kids at school will think that is the way to talk to me," fears 13-year-old Ba'ac Garcia, a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation. "That is racist what Ms. Sanchez did."

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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