She’s offended. She has a right to be.
So on Monday, President Trump hosted an event meant to honor the World War II Navajo “code talkers,” but in the bumbling, callous Trumpian way, decided that simply honoring the work of these gentlemen to our nation wasn’t enough. He had to use the opportunity to make a random, nonsensical swipe at Senator Elizabeth Warren, using the name “Pocahontas” as an insult.
Here’s the backstory that shouldn’t be missed (since I’m seeing so many defenders claim it was “funny” and “a joke”).
To begin with, Trump bungled the joke. Elizabeth Warren has caught heat for claiming to be part Cherokee. The name “FAUXcahontas,” a play on words that nods to Pocahontas, but directly addresses what they feel is a fraudulent claim by Warren, by putting emphasis on the “Faux” part of the moniker. And while the joke has long since grown a bit moldy, Trump keeps using it, and getting it wrong, over and over.
Pocahontas was an actual Native American figure, the daughter of a chief, and basically served as an emissary between her tribe and the English settlers in Jamestown, in the early 1600s.
There are a lot of stories of the deeds of Pocahontas, none of them derogatory, so to have an American president continuously use her name as a pejorative could rightly be seen as offensive to some.
With that in mind, a Navajo Nation Council delegate has issued a statement regarding Trump’s “joke,” and she’s not happy.
Amber Kanazbah Crotty described Trump’s comments as “careless,” and also stated they showed an ignorance of Native Americans and their way of life.
“The intentional disregard of the historical trauma of Pocahontas as a sexual assault survivor directly resulting from colonization is disturbing,” she added.
“Our women and children are targets of violence. We must speak out against such ignorance in every instance, in hopes for a better future for our children and our land,” Crotty said.
Crotty said Trump’s remark is “problematic” and it diminishes the experience of Pocahontas.
“The reckless appropriation of this term is deeply offensive and dangerous to the sovereignty of our identity of our peoples. Such rhetoric is damaging, and it a serious infringement of our right to live as Native Americans,” the statement said.
It was a bad joke. It’s only funny to those who wait to get their cues on how to behave and what to believe from Trump.
Furthermore, it was just really out of place and inappropriate for honoring the service of the men who were at the ceremony.
It’s like Trump is incapable of letting anyone have a moment without making sure he’s always the principle focus.
“The Navajo Code Talkers are not pawns to advance a personal grudge, or promote false narratives. Such pandering dishonors the sacrifice of our national heroes.”
“We honor and respect the Navajo Code Talkers, and we are proud of their sacrifice,” she said.
“Let us not allow this display of immaturity and short-sightedness distract us from the important issues we advocate for collectively as sovereign nations on this continent, but continue to advance the cause and secure the future of indigenous people in America.”
No, they shouldn’t be pawns, but for President Trump they were props to help setup his big “joke.”