Last Monday, President Trump invited members of the Navajo nation to commemorate their military service as “code talkers” during World War II. The men were instrumental in maintaining secure communications against Japanese forces.
Trump told the gathered veterans that Congress had a member who was called “Pocahontas,” a cheap political jab directed at U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren even though she hadn’t criticized him regarding this ceremony.
The affair was supposed to be a simple, dignified nonpartisan event honoring the heroic service of these veterans. The president’s enablers have argued the name Pocahontas wasn’t a racial slur. Of course, the name Pocahontas in and of itself isn’t a slur. The historical Pocahontas was a woman of strength, dignity and courage, and those indeed are admirable traits.
But the manner in which Trump used it was a racial slur as it was intended to denigrate, not compliment, Warren. The president and his enablers claim Warren can’t have any Native American ancestry because she doesn’t look like a Native American, i.e., she doesn’t have “redskin.”
Adding to this insult, the ceremony was conducted under a portrait of Andrew Jackson. As president, he was responsible for the infamous “Trail of Tears,” during which thousands of Cherokees lost their lives after being forcibly removed from their homes in the southern states and marched across the country to make room for white settlers.
This wasn’t some stumbling, bumbling mistake by an unsophisticated president. How ironic that in a ceremony honoring the code talkers, Trump used coded language and symbols that white supremacists would appreciate.
By Tuesday, Trump returned to more familiar territory. First, he resumed his Twitter attack on NFL players protesting criminal justice system abuses. Of course, the majority of players protesting are African-Americans.
Shortly thereafter, Trump unleashed a tweet storm against illegal immigrants. And for good measure, as reported by The New York Times, the birther-in-chief resurrected his doubts about former President Obama’s birthplace.
On Wednesday, Trump retweeted highly charged anti-Muslim videos produced by the fascist group Britain First, which resulted in a very sharp public rebuke against Trump by British lawmakers from the left and right, including Prime Minister Theresa May.
Since Trump announced his candidacy for president and continuing through the first 10 months of his presidency, he has directed his bigotry toward Mexican immigrants (rapists and criminals), Muslims (terrorists), blacks (unpatriotic), Puerto Ricans (no initiative), and now Native Americans. He’s even managed to alienate our allies, including our closest ally, Great Britain.
During this same period, he’s employed white nationalists such as Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller as campaign and then as senior White House advisers. He’s found time to compliment white supremacists carrying Tiki torches and shouting anti-Semitic slogans as “fine people.” He’s championed Confederate monuments. He’s now even earned high praise from white supremacists and neo-Nazis from both sides of the Atlantic.
President Trump said he was ending the war on Christmas. In reality, he’s the bigoted Grinch trying to steal Christmas.