Native Americans Denounce Mayor's "Cowboy Hat" Remark

Native American group asked for an apology

By John Noel
|  Monday, Aug 23, 2010  |  Updated 3:46 PM EDT
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Native Americans Denounce Mayor's "Cowboy Hat" Remark

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Native American groups plan to gather on the steps of New York's City Hall to demand an apology from Mayor Mike Bloomberg for a comment he made they say was racially insensitive.

Native American groups plan  to gather on the steps of  City Hall to demand an apology from Mayor Mike Bloomberg for a comment he made they say was racially insensitive.

On the John Gambling radio show  a little more than a week ago, Mayor Bloomberg was talking about New York state Native American tribes selling cigarettes without collecting taxes.  During the on-air conversation, Bloomberg said, "I've said this to David Paterson, I said, you know, get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun.  If there's ever a great video, it's you standing in the middle of the New York State Thruway saying, you know, read my lips, the law of the land is this, and we're going to enforce the law."

The Anerican Indian Community House and representatives of a number of Native American nations are now calling on the mayor to apologize for his remarks.

A spokesperson for the mayor issued a statement saying, "The Supreme Court has ruled several times that Tribes have no right to sell cigarettes in violation of  State tax laws-and Congress has now reinforced that with a new Federal law as well."

But  the spokesperson did not address the issue of the words the Mayor choose to get that point across on the radio.

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