A Democrat Senate candidate who was convicted of ethics violations in early June also has been accused of wearing “redface” after photos surfaced of him donning an American Indian headdress at a sporting event in 2015.
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) coasted to a primary victor Tuesday night, but still must face Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) in November. Hickenlooper has been already convicted of violating state ethics by accepting gifts from donors while in office. The latest accusations revolve around an in event in 2015, when Hickenlooper not only accepted a ride on the private jet belonging to the Atlanta Braves’ corporate owner, but of then wearing the American Indian headdress while attending the event, The Washington Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman reported.
The event in question was the annual “One Shot Antelope Hunt,” which takes place in Wyoming. In 2012 and 2018, indigenous activists claimed wearing the American Indian headdress amounted to “red face.”
As Goodman reported, an ethics complaint had been filed by the Public Trust Institute against Hickenlooper for the 2015 event, but because the complaint was filed in 2018, the statute of limitations had run out.
“Between September 18, 2015 and September 20, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper flew on an aircraft owned by Liberty Media Corp from the Liberty Media Corporate Jet Hangar in Centennial, Colorado to Lander, Wyoming and back for the ‘One Shot Antelope Contest,'” the Public Trust Institute wrote in its complaint.
Liberty Media purchased the Atlanta Braves in 2007. The team has struggled with its own accusations of racism due to its Native American logo and the “Tomahawk chop” cheer performed by many teams across the country.
“Hickenlooper participated in the ‘One Shot Antelope Hunt’ for six years while he was governor, according to his official scheduling records. His final trip was in 2018, when he flew there on a state-owned plane. Photos from the 2018 contest show Hickenlooper wearing a large feather headdress. He is also seen wearing a female Native costume in a 2012 PBS video,” Goodman reported.
Hickenlooper is not merely being called out by Republicans, a group calling themselves “Indigenous women and allies,” called on Sunday for the former governor to drop out of the Senate race over his participation in the event and the photos.
“The winner of the event is dressed in a costume headdress, while the ‘loser’ of the event is dressed as what event attendees call a ‘squaw,’ a misogynistic ethnic slur for a North American Indian woman. This term is associated with the sexual assault, targeting, dominating, and violation of Native North American Indian women, and the subsequent term ‘squaw hopping’ references the serial rape of targeted women,” the group wrote (emphasis original).
The post also criticized Hickenlooper for working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), among other indiscretions:
Gov. Hickenlooper displayed an unacceptable lack of judgement in choosing to participate in this event, while disrespecting Indigenous women and appropriating traditional dress of Native peoples. And not only has Gov. Hickenlooper repeatedly harmed the Native community, but he has also been exposed for mocking the struggles of Black and Latinx Americans. A video has recently come to light where he is seen bragging about his cooperation with ICE in the detention of undocumented immigrants. Additionally, as a sitting Governor, he compared his schedule as a white politician to being abducted and whipped on an “ancient slave ship.” In a recent racial justice forum for US Senate candidates, Hickenlooper, and his opponent, Andrew Romanoff, were both asked what “Black Lives Matter” meant. Even amid the growing protests for racial justice, Gov. Hickenlooper expressed that, to him, it means “every life matters.”
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