Donald Trump is in hot water after using a racial slur against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, with the president referring to her as “Pocahontas” while he was speaking at reception for prominent African American leaders at the White House.
As the Independent reported, Trump used the racially charged term to refer to the Massachusetts senator, revisiting a favorite insult mocking her for claims of Native American ancestry. He used the slur while speaking to guests at an event marking the conclusion of African American History Month. The report noted that after opening remarks where he invoked a number of prominent historic African American figures, Trump veered off script and began discussing the upcoming presidential election and his own job performance.
During these remarks, Trump referred to a rally that Warren held which drew a smaller crowd that his own rally. In these remarks, Trump referred to Warren as “Pocahontas,” the report noted.
This is not the first time that Trump has used the racial slur during a White House meeting with leaders of a minority group. Back in November 2017, Trump used the term again while hosting a group of Navajo World War II veterans who served as code talkers during the war. While he was speaking to the elderly veterans, Trump took the opportunity to mock the senator.
“I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said, via CNN. “Although, we have a representative in Congress who has been here a long time… longer than you — they call her Pocahontas!”
Trump’s use of the term Pocahontas to refer to Warren has drawn considerable controversy and pushback from one prominent Native American group. The National Congress of American Indians released a statement in 2019 condemning Trump’s use of the name as an insult for political gain. The organization said that his use of the name as a slur is disrespectful to the legacy of the real Pocahontas and for Native Americans is a reminder of the racial slurs they have endured.
“These pejorative terms dismiss our rightful place as this country’s First Americans, and ignore the immense contributions that tribal nations and peoples have made and continue to make to America. Silence in the face of such divisive behavior and degrading rhetoric is complicity,” said NCAI CEO Kevin Allis. “We call on all Americans to denounce the continued use of such terms and the sentiments they express.”