“I’d like to honor you by joking about a racial slur against your people”

President Donald Trump on Monday referred to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) as “Pocahontas” at an event honoring Native American code talkers who fought in World War II. “The chief. He’s the general and the chief,” Trump said during the White House event, referring to his chief of staff John Kelly. “I said, how good were these code talkers? He said, sir, you have no idea. You have no idea how great they were, what they have done for this country and the strength and the bravery and the love for the country.”…. “So that was the ultimate statement from General Kelly, the importance,” Trump continued. “And I just want to thank you because you’re very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here, although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago, they call her Pocahontas. But you know what I like you.”

After ten months of sheer, unmedicated lunacy, it takes something unusual to get my attention when it comes to Donald Trump being a classless jackass. It happens with such frequency that it’s hard to process, and all the offensiveness and tastelessness has long since fused into one long “WTF??” moment. What happened at the White House on Monday was astonishing in its childishness and immaturity.

It was one of those moments in history where the most common reaction was something along the lines of “Did I REALLY hear what I think I heard?” The (justifiable and appropriate) outrage was immediate and bipartisan. GOP strategist Rick Wilson asked on Twitter, “What’s the Navajo word for jackass?”

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was quick to condemn Mr. Trump for using a slur against Warren that overshadowed the intent of the ceremony.

“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,” stated NCAI President Jefferson Keel, a decorated U.S. Army officer and Vietnam War combat veteran. “Today was about recognizing the remarkable courage and invaluable contributions of our Native code talkers. That’s who we honor today and everyday — the three code talkers present at the White House representing the 10 other elderly living code talkers who were unable to join them, and the hundreds of other code talkers from the Cherokee, Choctaw, Comanche, Lakota, Meskwaki, Mohawk, Navajo, Tlingit, and other tribes who served during World Wars I and II.”

The question now becomes whether Americans will demand something be done…or whether we’ve collectively become so benumbed to the daily barrage of idiocy and unbridled offensiveness emanating from the White House. I can’t fathom how good and decent people can continue to support him…yet there are still millions who stand firmly behind him. It’s only going to get worse.

Using a racial slur intended to degrade an ethnic group while in the presence of members of that ethnic group is astonishingly piggish and classless, and Native Americans have every right to be grievously offended. Especially since this is far from the first time Trump has employed such a slur.

Racism is not a bug with this President; it’s a feature.

Why the President of the United States feels it necessary to defame Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) with an offensive racial slur defies explanation. Then again, no reasonable person could claim to be surprised; this is what he does. He’s the racist pig he demonstrated himself to be time and time again during the presidential campaign. This is nothing new or different.

As one wag put it on Twitter, “Hey, white supremacists gonna white supremacist.”

The Navajo Nation, too, weighed in, saying that it “does not want to engage in this dialogue between” Warren and Mr. Trump, but the group’s president, Russell Begaye, complained that “in this day and age, all tribal nations still battle insensitive references to our people.The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy.”

The truly sad aspect of this is that Trump’s racist slur deflected attention from an event intended to honor heroes who played a significant role in defeating Nazi Germany. The ceremony was intended to honor Navajo Code Talkers…but all anyone heard was “POCAHONTAS!” The President’s classless racism dishonored those whose heroism showed them to be beyond worthy of being honored. Donald Trump didn’t deserve to be on the same dais with them.

If this sorry episode isn’t enough to make you miss the grace and dignity of Barack Obama, you’re not paying attention.

Nice work, America.

1 thought on ““I’d like to honor you by joking about a racial slur against your people”

  1. Racer X

    “The question now becomes whether Americans will demand something be done…”

    66 million Americans voted against this clown. I am confident that all 66 million would support removing him from office. I do. So lets not chastise all Americans. The Americans that need to wake up are the racist, misogynist, science denying, greedy, amoral, faux Christians that make up the Republican party. What makes you think they would care about this?

    Reply

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