Twitter tore into Donald Trump for mocking Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s announcement to run in the Democratic primaries for 2020. Warren has often claimed to be of Native American descent in the past, which has led to Trump nicknaming her “Pocahontas.” So on Saturday, when Warren announced that she was officially joining the race for America’s next president, Trump chipped in without wasting too much time.
“Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President,” Trump tweeted before going on to make racially insensitive comments.
“Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!”
It is the “TRAIL” in all caps which unnerved a lot of readers. As noted by The Hill, Trump seemed to be referring to the “Trail of Tears” — the forced relocation of Native American tribes from 1830 to 1850, that led to the death of as many as 8,000 Cherokee.
Trump has not won anyone over with his condescending behavior towards America’s indigenous peoples. As Mother Jones reports, he is a known fan of President Andrew Jackson, who removed Native Americans from their home. Trump put a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office shortly after moving in and even traveled to his tomb in Tennessee after his swearing-in ceremony.
Elizabeth Warren formally announced her candidacy for president Saturday, invoking themes of resistance from the same spot where a historic labor strike once led thousands of women to walk off their factory jobs https://t.co/ZEFA9MjNRg— POLITICO (@politico) February 9, 2019
Twitter users were quick to notice the apparent condescension in Trump’s tweet and quickly chewed him out. Some users noted that Trump had never hidden his admiration for Jackson, while others called him out for contributing to yet another”racial flare-up,” which has become commonplace as of late.
Most users were angry with the fact that President Trump could refer to such a painful time in American history — a genocide — in a joking manner.
“4000 Native Americans died on the Trail of Tears due to forced relocations under the Andrew Jackson administration. Trump decided to honor Navajo code talker vets in front of Andrew “Indian Killer” Jackson’s portrait last year because of course,” Wajahat Ali, contributor for the New York Times, wrote.
The joke here is that the Trail of Tears was a genocide. Get it? Get it? https://t.co/6wC5uwKnTa— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) February 9, 2019
Another. Racist. Tweet.— antonio (@antoniodelotero) February 10, 2019
The emphasized "TRAIL" refers to the Trail of Tears in which Native Americans were FORCED to march 1,000 miles to "Indian Territory." Their homes were looted by brutal colonizers and those same people watched thousands of them drop dead during the march. https://t.co/XqdlRMbmBp
Congressman Jason Chaffetz posted this picture on Twitter, which is still up, and said “At Disneyland today with Senator Elizabeth Warren...” This is completely and absolutely disrespectful and mind-bogglingly racist. pic.twitter.com/QrxNLn9gEz— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) February 9, 2019
This is not the first time that Donald Trump has invited criticism by condescendingly referring to the past plights of Native Americans, and with Elizabeth Warren officially entering the presidential race against him, there’s a chance that these moments of derision will only become more prevalent over time.