In New Mexico, some are still living the so-called Indian Wars of the 1800s. Specifically, that would be Pat Rogers, a Republican National Committee official. Upon hearing that Gov. Susana Martinez, also a Republican, attended the annual state-tribal leaders meeting in June, Rogers wrote to Martinez’s staff:
Quislings, French surrender monkeys, secret supporters (all along) of JAJ.
The state is going to hell. Col. Weh would not have dishonored Col Custer in this manner.
I hope who ever recommended this is required to read the entire redist transcript and sit through the entire meeting with the Gov.
The reference to JAJ is to Janice Arnold Jones who received the nomination for a Congressional seat, but whose candidacy split the Republican Party. Colonel Allen Weh challenged Martinez in the 2010 Republican nomination for governor. The reference to redist is about a redistricting lawsuit.
Despite the absurdity of the first line, the major controversy is that Rogers thinks that General George Custer was disrespected. Custer was one of the most famous nineteenth century generals. He was vicious in the battles he engaged with Native Americans. In the end, his hubris got the best of him when he thought he could defeat a large contingent of warriors with a small group of his cavalry. Custer was slain on July 4, 1876 along with his entire battalion when his surprise attack turned into a terrible blunder.
This is hardly the man to be honoring as a hero.
One hundred and fifty years later, most political figures at least try to pretend that we are all Americans now. Rogers is the exception – a nineteenth century way of thinking in the twenty-first century. With his anti-Native American thinking, Rogers might have some interesting ideas on slavery and equal rights for women as well.
History has not been kind to Custer. That Rogers considers his legacy needing to be honored is discomforting. That Rogers thinks a governor meeting any of her constituents is a subject to despair is disgusting.
This meeting was not even of Martinez’s own arrangement. She is required by New Mexico law to attend the annual summit.
Calls are now circulating for Rogers to resign. However, the best response to Rogers’ behavior rests with a prominent Navajo lawyer:
“Well, there’s an entirely different angle to this,” added Chris Stearns, a Navajo lawyer and chairman of the Seattle Human Rights Commission. “I think you could argue that when Gov. Martinez met with Pat Rogers, she disrespected the memory of intelligent people everywhere.”