Pat Rogers, a Republican National Committee (RNC) leader, is facing calls for his dismissal after telling the staff of Gov. Susana Martinez, R-N.M., that because she agreed to meet with American Indians, she disrespected the memory of Col. George Armstrong Custer.
Custer is infamous for being a U.S. Army commander in the mid-1800s who killed many American Indians during what are historically known as the Indian Wars. He was killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.
Rogers is a GOP lobbyist and partner with the Modrall law firm of Albuquerque, New Mexico. A recent member of the RNC Executive Committee, he is also an RNC National Committeeman for his state. He is currently in Tampa, Florida preparing for the upcoming Republican National Convention.
‘The state is going to hell,’ Rogers wrote in part of the e-mail. ‘Col. [Allen] Weh would not have dishonored Col. Custer in this manner.’ Weh was a Republican candidate for governor of New Mexico in 2010 who ran against Martinez.
The e-mail was sent following a meeting in June between Martinez and the state’s tribes, according to ProgressNow. It was directed to senior members of the governor’s administration. The governor’s office has not responded to requests for comment.
‘George Armstrong Custer may be regarded as a kind of military hero by Pat Rogers, but to the Native peoples of America Custer represents the bellicose imperialism that was responsible for the systematic slaughter of American Indians throughout this continent,’ according to an e-mail being circulated by ProgressNow.
‘Such a blatantly racist statement against our Native people is offensive from anyone, but to come from a national GOP leader and lobbyist for some of our country’s largest corporations is indefensible,’ said Pat Davis, executive director of ProgressNow New Mexico, in a statement.