Rep. Loretta Sanchez Apologizes for Her Ridiculously Insensitive Indian War Cry Gesture

May 18, 2015
8:53 AM

In case you aren’t following the latest from the Democratic senate primary race, this past weekend during the state party’s convention in Anaheim, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, one of the candidates running for Barbara Boxer’s seat, made one really ridiculous gesture at a restaurant when talking about a story regarding her outreach to the state’s Indian American community. The Sacramento Bee, which first broke the story, put the clip on its website, but the following YouTube video shows Sanchez’s #NoMames moment in full display (the gesture happens about :30 seconds into the video):

As The SacBee reports, here is what Sanchez said:

“I am going to his office, thinking that I am going to meet with a,” she said, while patting her hand over her mouth and making a noise. “Right? … Because he said Indian American.”

“And I go in there and it was great. It was just great because he said, ‘I want to get my community involved.’ Involved. And that was the first time that we saw the Indian American community really come,” Sanchez said.

California State Attorney and Sanchez’s main primary opponent Kamala Harris, whose mother is Indian, called the gesture “shocking.”

Later in the weekend, Sanchez, addressed the issue and offered an apology, according to the LA Times:

For political figures who open their hearts and don’t hide behind handlers, Sanchez told the delegates, it’s hard “to put yourself out there and to do what leaders need to do.”

“And yes, sooner or later, we make mistakes,” she told the crowd. “Because you know what? We’re all humans.”

The world can’t be changed “from behind a desk,” she continued. “So in this crazy and exciting rush of meetings yesterday, I said something offensive, and for that I sincerely apologize.”

The folks at OC Weekly also chimed in, adding more context to Sanchez’s history when it comes to insensitive comments and gaffes. And then there were her comments to immigrants rights activists last year.