On Monday, President Trump remarkably managed to take the nation by surprise yet again with his racism, using a racial slur against Native Americans while literally standing in front of Native Americans. Trump, however, has been caught in the same lie that he used the racial slur to accuse Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of.
Warren has claimed to have Native American ancestry, and although her detractors have claimed otherwise, there’s no real evidence that she’s ever been serious enough about it to try and use it to get herself ahead.
Even still, that didn’t stop Trump from calling her “Pocahontas” while speaking at an event meant to honor Native American veterans of World War II.
Speaking to the veterans, Trump said:
‘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.’
Check out the video below.
Here’s the video: Trump calls Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’ while honoring Native American code talkers: “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.” pic.twitter.com/hjZ5MInDDf
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 27, 2017
Unsurprisingly, the president has faced significant backlash since making his remarks. Everyone from Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren herself to prominent Native American people have slammed the president for using “Pocahontas” as a derogatory term.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that it didn’t constitute a “racial slur” for Trump to have called Warren “Pocahontas,” but it would be like if someone called a random African American “Frederick Douglass.” It’s disrespectfully dismissive of Native Americans.
Sarah Sanders on President Trump’s “Pocahontas” comment: “I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.” https://t.co/aMnVDOrCIQ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 27, 2017
Besides the issue of Trump’s racism, it’s not even as though there is much, or any, substance to Trump’s criticism of Warren. There remains little evidence that Warren ever used her informal claims of Native American ancestry to advance her career, and not only that, but Donald Trump himself is demonstrably guilty of that which he accuses Warren of.
As a report pointed to by journalist Josh Billinson points out, surprise, surprise — the Trumps used a lie about their own heritage to build their business empire.
The Boston Globe reported last year:
‘The family hid its German heritage, in large part because [Donald Trump’s father] Fred Trump was trying to sell apartments, often to Jewish tenants, in the aftermath of World War II… As late as 1987, in his bestselling book “The Art of the Deal,” Donald Trump was continuing with the ruse, writing that his grandfather “came here from Sweden as a child.’
As Trump family historian and cousin of Donald Trump John Walter put it, speaking of Fred Trump:
‘He said, “You don’t sell apartments after the war if you’re German.” So he’s Swedish, no problem.’
Walter is the one who “told Fred and Donald to knock it off and own up to their German heritage,” doing so after he “got a letter from a Swedish organization wanting to do a section on Trump in one of its museums.”
The Boston Globe pressed Donald Trump about his father coming up with the lie that the family was from Sweden, and he commented:
‘Well, he spent time in Sweden. And he talked about Swedish because of the fact, you know, we happened to be at war with Germany, which I guess makes sense in a lot of ways doesn’t it? But he spent time in Sweden. Our country was at war with Germany. So being from Germany didn’t necessarily play so well for a period of time.’
As for why Trump chose to “perpetuate the falsehood,” he told The Globe:
‘Well, it was never really something discussed. My father spent a lot of time there. But it was never really something really discussed very much.’
What the whole thing boils down to is simple — although the point is pretty obvious from the outset, Trump cares far more about perpetuating his own racist agenda than he does about furthering the truth.
Featured Image via Oliver Contreras-Pool/ Getty Images