Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye has stated that President Donald Trump insulted World War II heroes during a recent press call. Trump used the racial slur “Pocahontas” aimed at his opponent Elizabeth Warren. Warren has Native American ancestry and it isn’t the first time that Trump has used that fact to attack her. In an interview, Begaye expressed his frustration:
“We need to honor these war heroes, our American war heroes in a respectful way, in any situation, any circumstance, in any environment.”
On one hand, he was happy that the Navajo effort to assist in World War II had been recognized, but he also insisted that Trump’s comment was “unnecessary” and he described how Trump had used it as an ethnic slur. Begaye explained: “Pocahontas is a real person. It’s not a caricature,” insisting that she had played a “critical role” in the “life of this nation.”
This isn’t the first time that Trump has been attacked for his cultural insensitivity, indeed it’s not even the first time he’s been called out for attacking Elizabeth Warren with this particular slur. Last year Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker attacked Trump for his use of the term “Pocahontas” in reference to Sen. Warren. Baker went on to note that “I think it’s racist and I think he’s trying to use that as a put-down, and I think it’s inappropriate.”
In the same interview the founder of American Indians in Film and Television, Sonny Skyhawk, attacked the president for his use of the term and insisted that the event was staged.
Whatever the truth is, it seems that using a sensitive ethnic slur while celebrating the efforts of those who would find it offensive, is a paradox that only a madman like Trump could figure out. But one thing is for certain, Trump’s ability to get himself into trouble knows no bounds.
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