Humility and a penchant for self-criticism are not likely to be counted among the various and sundry characteristics attributed to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. Indeed, even when the blustery billionaire has been directly challenged for his frequent use of inflammatory rhetoric and controversial tactics, Trump seldom recants or issues a comprehensive retraction. Indeed, such was the case earlier this week when Native American writer Nicole Robertson objected to the Republican candidate’s continued use of the term “Pocahontas” to ridicule U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.
As reported by Inforum, Trump made the aforementioned derogatory comment during a campaign stop in Bismarck, North Dakota on Thursday. When Robertson, a member of the Cree Nation, told the Republican front-runner that she was offended by the remark, Trump apologized – before immediately referring to Warren as “Pocahontas” once again. Nicole Robertson spoke out about Trump’s conduct after the event.
“We don’t go out of our way to call people anything,” said Robertson. “To me, that sort of shows the leadership of somebody and their character. I really believe that today was very telling.”
Donald Trump’s comments about Elizabeth Warren stem from a 2012 controversy regarding the Massachusetts Senator’s ancestry. As previously reported by Inquisitr, Warren has stated that she is of Cherokee descent, but the claim has proven difficult to document. As Trump and Warren have sparred through different media outlets, the billionaire has repeatedly made note of the flap, referring to his Democratic foil as “the Indian” and “Pocahontas.” A legendary Native American historical figure, the story of Pocahontas was also adapted for a popular animated film by Disney.
In addition to the above-noted comments by Nicole Robertson, Donald Trump has also been the target of critique by other Native Americans over perceptions that he is culturally insensitive. In a report by Yahoo! News, Navajo activist Amanda Blackhorse explained that the name “Pocahontas” is often used to invoke an image of a “hypersexualized” stereotype.
“When non-native men approach native women, they think it’s OK to call them ‘Pocahontas’ as a way to kind of say, ‘You’re attractive,’” Blackhorse told Yahoo! News. “They use a stereotype to do that and, you know, I’ve experienced that a lot. That’s been my experience with that word. It’s happened a lot, and I know it’s happened to a lot of Native women.”
PaaWee Rivera, the Democratic National Committee’s director of Native American engagement, also sharply condemned Donald Trump’s comments as “racist attacks.”
“Americans of all backgrounds deserve a president who fights racism and respects their communities, not one that fans the flames of bigotry and seeks to profit off of the misery of others,” Rivera said.
Despite calls for a public show of contrition by Donald Trump, the aspiring chief executive is not likely to back down from his ongoing tit for tat with Elizabeth Warren. Despite the fact that Warren has yet to formally endorse Hillary Clinton in her candidacy for president, the senator has emerged as one of the Democratic Party’s foremost standard bearers over the course of recent months. In fact, a number of pundits and strategists have suggested that Warren is in the short list of potential running mates for Clinton once the Democratic nomination is secured.
Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo recently made the case for a Clinton-Warren ticket, noting that Elizabeth Warren could effectively unite the Democratic Party following months of infighting between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Moreover – and perhaps most importantly – Elizabeth Warren already has experience mixing it up with Donald Trump and matching the blustery billionaire blow for flow.
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