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Donald Trump Insults Native American Heroes & the Country They Served

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“I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people. You were here long 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!”

Flanked by surviving Navajo war veterans in a White House ceremony giving honor to them, President Donald Trump lacked any sense of decency and respect by again taunting his nemesis Senator Elizabeth Warren with a racial epithet referring to her Native American heritage.

Trump then turned to the Navajo man standing next to him adding, “But you know what? I like you. You are special people.” Trump also referred several times to White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, as “the chief.”

Included at the ceremony were former Marines like those memorialized in the Hollywood movie, “Windtalkers,” in which Navajo Marines formed an unbreakable internal radio code using their native language in the Pacific during World War II saving countless U.S. and allies’ lives.

As if Trump’s words were not bad enough, he further insulted these courageous veterans by conducting the official ceremony directly beneath a portrait of Trump’s acknowledged “favorite” president: Andrew Jackson.

During the early years of the new republic, with its increasing population and desire for land, political leaders, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, advocated that Indian lands should be obtained through treaties and purchase. President Jefferson in 1803 wrote a letter to then Tennessee political leader, Andrew Jackson, advising him to convince Indians to sell their “useless” forests to the U.S. government and become farmers. Jefferson and other government leaders overlooked the fact that this style of individualized farming went contrary to Indian communitarian spiritual and cultural traditions.

Later, however, when he inhabited the White House, Jackson argued that white settlers (a pleasant term for “land thieves”) had a “right” to confiscate Indian land. Though he proposed a combination of treaties and an exchange or trade of land, he maintained that white people had a right to claim any Indian lands that were not under cultivation. Jackson recognized as the only legitimate claims for Indian lands those on which they grew crops or made other “improvements.”

The Indian Removal Act of May 28, 1830 authorized President Jackson to confiscate Indian land east of the Mississippi River, “relocate” its former inhabitants, and exchange their former land with territory west of the River. The infamous “Trail of Tears” during Jackson’s presidency attests to the forced evacuation and redeployment of entire Indian nations in which many died of cholera, exposure to the elements, contaminated food, and other environmental hazards.

In addition, though Jackson founded the Democratic Party and brought greater popular control to government, as a farmer, his wealth increased enormously through his enslavement of Africans, and he gave the lash to any who attempted escape.

Earlier, the Naturalization Act of 1790 excluded Native American Indians from citizenship, considering them, paradoxically, as “domestic foreigners.” They were not accorded rights of citizenship until 1924 when Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act, though Asians continued to be denied naturalized citizenship status at that time.

Once again, Trump proved that he has no love or need for knowledge or preparation, he has no apparent understanding of history or of science, and he has even less use for either. This President is a complete embarrassment to the office he holds and the country he very pathetically represents.

Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld is author of Warren’s Words: Smart Commentary on Social Justice (Purple Press); editor of Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price (Beacon Press), and co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge) and Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States (Sense), and co-author of Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life (Beacon Press).

Written by Warren Blumenfeld

November 27th, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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