Cherokee Nation Chief Schools Trump: Calling Elizabeth Warren 'Pocahontas' Is a Racist Put-Down
Alongside straight up lies, another tried and tested Trump tactic this election season has been his constant bullying. Most of the time these attacks have seen Trump pulling the oldest trick in the book: name-calling.
The fact that Trump’s puerile insults have been working in his favor says a lot about either mob mentality, or the sorry state of American education. It’s as if America has become a giant playground and Trump supporters have gathered behind the angry bully. (Unfortunately in this instance the bully might soon be in charge of the whole damn school.)
So naturally, in his ongoing feud with Elizabeth Warren, Trump has employed one of his favorite playground insults, and he did so again recently. In a two-part Tweet—Trump’s preferred 140-character based medium of communication—he directed (or rather misdirected) the public’s attention to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s heritage.
If Goofy Elizabeth Warren, a very weak Senator, didn't lie about her heritage (being Native American) she would be nothing today. Pick her H— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1468758244.0
I hope that Crooked Hillary picks Goofy Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, as her V.P. Then we can litigate her fraud!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1468757686.0
Where to even begin with this. For starters, Warren’s lineage was addressed rather conclusively by The Nation back in 2012. Trump of course takes this further by insinuating that this (previously dismissed) heritage gave Warren some sort of career advantage. And then of course also the tired Pocahontas trope.
There’s an ironic paradox to this sort of inane rhetoric taking center stage in 2016. That alongside such racism, as the Indian Country Today recently reported, 100 Native Americans are running for office this year. That same report went on to note “record-breaking numbers” of these candidates, delegates, and tribal leaders in attendance at this week’s Democratic National Convention.
One of these leaders in attendance at DNC, Chief Bill John Baker of the Cherokee Nation, offered his thoughts on Trump in an interview with Raw Story Sarah Burris.
“I think it’s racist and I think he’s trying to use that as a put-down, and I think it’s inappropriate,” said Baker, who contrasted this with the strides the Cherokee nation has made in recent years and continue to strive for. “We opened up joint ventures for Indian Health Service, we hope they’ll do the same for education as well so that maybe we can invest in our schools to make education better for our kids. We’re hoping that there will be infrastructure dollars that we can certainly make use of.”
Baker’s hopes are typical of what is at stake this year. On the one hand, there’s the continued, albeit sometimes hard to discern, progress promised by Clinton's platform. Beside that and threatening to topple it all over is a candidate who thinks insulting someone by calling them Pocahontas is a way to win an election.
Watch the full interview with Chief Baker below.