Former Warwick City Councilmember and Warwick Sewer Authority member Carlos Pisaturo makes derisive, racist comments about Native Americans

Warwick City Hall
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“Pocahontas and Tonto have had their day,” said former Warwick City Councilmember Carlo Pisaturo. “It’s over.”

In a piece in the Warwick Beacon, reporter John Howell reports that former Warwick City Councilmember Carlo Pisaturo (Ward 5), who was appointed to the Warwick Sewer Authority by Mayor Joseph Solomon, said that respecting the graves of Native Americans would be too costly.

“Forget all the stuff with the Indians and do it the conventional way,” Pisaturo said.

Warwick initially planned to use directional drilling, which would allow crews to avoid disturbing “evidence of Indians” that was “unearthed in diggings conducted on Tidewater Drive and surrounding roads.”

“Pocahontas and Tonto have had their day,” said Pisaturo in the Warwick Beacon. “It’s over.”

The Warwick Beacon piece continues:

Pisaturo said he is not aware of Indian gravesites in the path of the sewers, and even should bones be found, who is to say they are human and, if human, who is to say they belong to Native Americans? He noted that there are historic cemeteries throughout the city and he wouldn’t be surprised if burials might be found.

“The cost is going to be excessive,” Pisaturo said of directional drilling, although he didn’t offer cost estimates. “We have to get moving on it [Bayside sewers],” he said.

Pisaturo joins John Dionne this week in being a former City counselor making racist, public comments.


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About Steve Ahlquist 1079 Articles
Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade.Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential reading.atomicsteve@gmail.com

6 Comments

  1. Warwick is becoming such a cesspool with the way it’s being run, that we won’t have enough money EVER for installing sewers.

  2. If these graves had been of white settlers, they would deserve just as much respect. I don’t think his remarks were racist, just ignorant.
    Another example of talking heads putting excessive spin at every opportunity.

    • Your comment might be valid if it weren’t for the fact the he referred to “Pocahontas and Tonto.” He might indeed be ignorant, but his comment was also indeed racist.

  3. It is truly unfortunate that a member recently appointed by Mayor Solomon would voice his opinion in such a way. Having personally been present to see an exposed Native American and explained to by archeologists the purpose and meaning of the burial and precise positioning of a young woman was a remarkable and moving experience for me. It further vindicated pundits who doubted the mere existence of these “people” who walked these paths long before us. As former chairman of the WSA, I, along with the previous director Janine Burke, looked at all avenues to leverage funding to help with the added costs due to these discoveries. The city should embrace these discoveries and not regard the findings as insignificant and not deserving of respect. The recent expense to place a thin layer of asphalt on Tidewater Drive was a ridiculous expense to that neighborhood where sewer users will fund the paving only to be dug up again. Added expenses while preserving the findings of our Native American occupants should be shared by a larger group and not just a project. It takes fortitude to make bold decisions that may be controversial, not ignorance or racist comments that just further confuse and blur the facts.

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