President Trump put his foot in his mouth Monday when he used a ceremony honoring Native American Marines who transmitted secret military messages during the World War II to make a racist slur about a political foe.
The commander-in-chief made the crack about Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) during an Oval Office celebration of Navajo Code Talkers, referring to her as “Pocahontas.”
“You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said to the veterans he was honoring. “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”
Trump didn’t mention Warren by name — but it didn’t take a codebreaker to figure out whom he meant.
The President has referred to Warren as Pocahontas in previous tweets. It’s a dig at her for once claiming Cherokee and Delaware Indian heritage without any real proof.
Warren, the Navajo Nation and Trump’s beloved Twitterverse quickly rebuked the President for using what is widely considered a slur and spoiling the event.
“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,” Warren told MSNBC.
“Donald Trump does this over and over, thinking somehow he's going to shut me up with it,” she added. “It hasn't worked in the past. It is not going to work in the future.”
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said in a statement that “all tribal nations still battle insensitive references to our people.”
Donald Trump in the White House
“The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy,” Begaye said.
He said the sniping over Trump’s remark overshadowed the celebration of the heroic work of Native Americans.
“It was our Code Talkers that ensured the freedom of the United States and that’s what is important to remember here,” he said.
Three former Navajo Code Talkers attended the ceremony, which was meant to honor the group’s critical role in World War II.
The Navajos — and members of other tribes in World War I — were recruited as part of a top secret team that encrypted sensitive military communications by using their native languages. The coded messages were unbreakable.
The location of Monday’s event also added to the insult of Trump’s Pocahontas gibe. A portrait of President Andrew Jackson was in the backdrop when the President and one of the Code Talkers spoke.
Jackson forced thousands of Native Americans to move from the Southeast to the West. About 4,000 Cherokee people died during what is known as the “Trail of Tears.”
As the backlash over the bungled ceremony grew, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders came to the defense of Trump, who’d earlier in the day tweeted that he’s “your favorite President.” She blamed Warren for lying about her heritage to “advance her career.”
But passersby outside the National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan shook their heads at Trump’s comment, calling it dim-witted and offensive.
“These people have been abused by the government for centuries,” said Claire Robertson, a 35-year-old social worker who lives in Brownsville.
“It’s insane that our President would use their own heritage as a putdown in some bad attempt at a joke.”
Earlier in the day, Trump sang his own praises while slamming most of the media.
“We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me),” he wrote. “Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”
Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-calls-warren-pocahontas-native-american-event-article-1.36607261189