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Is Pocahontas as bad as Sambo?

11/27/2017

Today, at a presentation intended to honor Native Americans who served during WWII, President Trump took the opportunity to insult Senator Elizabeth Warren by referring to her as “Pocahontas”.

The veterans being honored were Navajo “Code Talkers”, who became valuable during WWII because their native language could not be deciphered by the Japanese.

It wasn’t the first time Trump had used the name to call out Warren.  During the campaign, he often used the term to describe Warren who reportedly claimed Native American ancestory.

Trump’s use “Pocahontas” as an insult, especially in front of American heroes who have served our country, drew immediate criticism.  Apparently blind that most would find it insulting and a slur, Trump and the White House defended the remarks.  The White House has said the nickname is not a racial slur. The National Congress of Americans Indians disagreed, saying Trump used Pocahontas as a “slur to insult a political adversary.” The group asked Trump “to refrain from using her name in a way that denigrates her legacy.”

Some critics likened Trump’s use of “Pocahontas” to reference Warren akin to using the term “Sambo” to reference an African American.

To add insult to injury, Trump decided to meet with the Native Americans below a picture of Andrew Jackson.  Jackson is known for his brutal treatment of Native Americans as president, famously signing the Indian Removal Act, which led to thousands of Native American deaths as tens of thousands were forced to relocate. Jackson’s nickname was “Indian Killer”.

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