HAVERHILL (CBS) – A political sign is sparking controversy in Haverhill.
A businessman put up a sign on his building that reads, “Re-elect Scott Brown, Lt. Col US Army, not an Indian.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports
He says the sign refers to Elizabeth Warren’s claim that she’s part Native American.
But the Greater Haverhill Civil Rights Commission is demanding the sign be taken down, saying it’s insulting to Native Americans and casts a negative light on the city.
“What if it read, “Vote for mitt Romney, not the black? Or vote for Barack Obama, not the Mormon?
This particular sign does convey hate, commission member Rabbi Ira Korinow said. “It just doesn’t belong in our community,”
But John Caruso, the man who put up the sign, is adamant that the sign stay in place.
He says the sign wasn’t meant to be offensive to anyone other than Elizabeth Warren, and it’s about freedom of speech.
“If someone feels that I have insulted them, I apologize for hurting their feelings. But I think you need to look at the sign more closely and understand it doesn’t have anything to do being an Indian. It has to do with honesty and integrity, explaining out that one person has honesty and integrity and the other person has demonstrated she does not,” he said. “If I had one regret, it’s that I probably should have put ‘not a fake Indian, eluding to the fact that Liz Warren did claim at one point in time to be an Indian.’”
The Brown campaign has reportedly requested that Caruso take down the sign. Citing free speech, the city says it doesn’t have the power to order Caruso to do so.