While appearing on MSNBC Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, claimed that calling her “Pocahontas” is a racial slur after President Trump used the name without referring directly to Warren at a White House event honoring Native American code talkers.
“You know, this was supposed to be an event to honor heroes, people who put it all on the line for our country. And people who because of their incredible work saved the lives of countless Americans and our allies. 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,” she said.
“Look, Donald Trump does this over and over, thinking somehow he’s going to shut me up with it. It hasn’t worked in the past. It is not going to work in the future,” she added.
Trump, the Daily Caller said, has often referred to her by that name, due to her dodgy history claiming native American heritage.
“I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here,” the president said. “Although, we have a representative in Congress who has been here a long time, longer than you, they call her Pocahontas!”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about the incident, the Daily Caller added:
At Monday’s White House press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked by a reporter why Trump felt the need to say something that is “offensive to many people ” at the ceremony. Sanders bluntly responded, “I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.”
A reporter noted that Sen. Warren had called it a “racial slur.” Sanders said, “That’s ridiculous,” before noting that it is never appropriate for anyone to use a racial slur, and she does not believe Trump’s use of “Pocahontas” was intended for that purpose. Sanders declared, once again forcefully, that Warren was the offensive one, saying, “Senator Warren was very offensive when she lied about some things specifically to advance her career and I don’t understand why no one’s asking about that question and why that isn’t constantly covered.”
According to a report at Newsmax, some Native American groups took issue with Trump’s choice of words, calling it a racial slur:
“All tribal nations still battle insensitive references to our people,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy.”
Other Native Americans were critical of Trump’s latest use of the name, with John Norwood, general secretary of the Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes, saying it “smacks of racism.”
“The reference is using a historic American Indian figure as a derogatory insult and that’s insulting to all American Indians,” he told NBC News, adding Trump should “stop using our historical people of significance as a racial slur against one of his opponents.”
“We regret that the president’s use of the name Pocahontas as a slur to insult a political adversary is overshadowing the true purpose of today’s White House ceremony. Today was about recognizing the remarkable courage and invaluable contributions of our Native code talkers,” added the National Congress of American Indians.
There’s no doubt the president meant it as an insult against Warren, who claimed she had Native American heritage on her Harvard application. Is it racial? Hardly. It’s a slap at the fact that her claim is completely unfounded.