President Donald Trump makes headlines once again for a racial comment. At an event at the White House honoring Navajo code talkers, Trump referencing Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people. You were here before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who has been here a long time, longer than you! They call her Pocahontas!”
The comment was met with silence from attendees and Trump faced backlash soon after.
“It is deeply unfortunate that the President of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur. Donald Trump does this over and over thinking somehow he is going to shut me up with it. It hasn’t worked out in the past, it isn’t going to work out in the future,” Warren told MSNBC shortly after Trump’s remark.
However, White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders claimed during the daily briefing that she doesn't condone the use of a racial slur and that Trump's use of “Pocahontas” was not made with that intent.
Targeting Warren, Sanders added, “I think Senator Warren was very offensive when she lied about something specifically to advance her career, and I don’t understand why no one is asking about that question and why that isn’t constantly covered.”
Navajo nation president, Russell Begaye also commented saying he appreciated the honor and recognition of the Navajo Code Talkers but he also noted how all tribal nations still battle insensitive references.
“The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy,” Begaye said in a statement. “As Native Americans, we are proud people who have taken care of this land long before there was the United States of America and we will continue to fight for this Nation.”
Along with Begaye, The National Congress of American Indians showed their disapproval for Trump’s comment.
“We cannot and will not stand silent when our Native ancestors, cultures, and histories are used in a derogatory manner for political gain,” Jacqueline Pata, the group’s executive director told CNN.
Back in his 2016 campaign, President Trump first called Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’ on twitter after she was criticized for claiming she was part Native American.
According to CNN, during a meeting with Senators earlier this year, President Trump taunted Democrats by saying, “Pocahontas is now the face of your party.” This comment by Trump offends Native Americans and their culture by using 'Pocahontas' to insult the Democrats.