Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Trump insults the Entire Native American Community

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There are two things that are important to realize for those who are not "of" the Native American Indian community or familiar with it:
First, and most important: President Andrew Jackson was responsible for the "Indian Removal Act" that led to the "Trail of Tears" He is so reviled among Indian people that often at Pow Wows I attend, some merchants will not accept $20.00 bills as currency. For Donald Trump to hold his news conference with Navajo Code Talkers before a portrait of Jackson was either an example of complete incompetence or an intentional insult to Native American people everywhere. I hope it was not the later but I would like to know. Was the portrait moved to that position prior to the news conference; or did they simply not move the news conference to some less offensive location.
If you find yourself unmoved by this, or you have not taken the time to google "The Indian Removal Act" or the "Trail of Tears", consider that Davy Crockett gave up his seat in Congress over the injustice of the Indian Removal Act saying ‘I would sooner be honestly damned than hypocritically immortalized’. He departed for Texas and we all know what happened there.
The second thing, and less important but still offensive is that his reference to Sen. Elizabeth Warren as Pocahantas was not only inappropriate to the occasion but also another example of the tone deafness of the Trump administration. Pocahantas, despite the popularity of the Disney Movie, is not viewed as an heroic figure within the Indian Community. (if in fact any of the story is actually factual). As someone who has one foot firmly planted in each community, it is a little like paying homage to Benedict Arnold. Arnold did some very heroic things in his military career, but in the end he betrayed the revolution.
The Navajo Code Talkers not only saved the lives of countless American and allied soldiers but stepped forward to serve their country without the slightest idea of what they would be asked to do. They are among the most heroic figures in a time when heroes were not in short supply.

We have made tremendous strides in healing the long festering wounds associated with the genocide of first Americans, though we still have a long way to go. Donald Trump has done grievous harm to that journey.

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