(EnviroNews Politics Desk) — Washington D.C. — “Leave the office you bought and take your swamp things with you.” That was the demand put forth by Harold Frazier, Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, to President Donald J. Trump, following more controversial remarks about Native Americans, at an event organized to honor World War II Code Talkers from the Navajo Nation.
The episode took place November 27, 2017, at the White House, and it didn’t take the President long to ramp up the rhetoric with yet another restoration of his “Pocahontas” slur, taking one more political swipe at Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), in what Frazier called a “disgusting” treatment of WWII veterans in the worst possible forum.
“The President of the United States had an opportunity to honor veterans and bridge gaps in the relationship Tribes have with the federal government,” Frazier said in a statement to the Huffington Post. “Instead, he chose to disgrace himself, his position and the nation he represents.”
Trump’s attempt at humor registered an epic fail as he told Code Talkers during the event, ″You were here long before any of us were here, although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”
Here's the video: Trump calls Elizabeth Warren 'Pocahontas' while honoring Native American code talkers: "You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas." pic.twitter.com/hjZ5MInDDf
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 27, 2017
Former Marine Michael Smith, whose father, Samuel “Jesse” Smith Sr., was a Code Talker, weighed in on the President’s remarks as well. “Isn’t that unfortunate that the legacy of these men can’t be paramount over the statement ― a derogatory statement, I felt ― that Mr. Trump made about a senator,” Smith told HuffPost.
Adding severity to the slap in the face was Trump’s choice of backdrop for the event: a portrait of President Andrew Jackson — a man despised by Native Americans across the board for his signing of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 which led to the dismally tragic Trail of Tears. Jackson, nicknamed “Indian Killer,” is even said to have made horse reins from the skins of Native American men. Some Native Americans have boycotted the twenty-dollar bill entirely due to their disdain for Jackson, yet Trump seems to enjoy being photographed with ol’ “Indian Killer” behind him, as he has commonly used this theme in photo-shoots and keeps Jackson’s portrait right beside his desk in the Oval Office.
So far, Trump has remained silent in regards to the outpouring of condemnation following Monday’s event. While the President might be staying quiet, Warren isn’t, and responded to Trump’s comments on MSNBC in an interview with Ali Veshi saying, “It is deeply unfortunate that the President of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur, but Donald Trump does this over and over thinking somehow he’s going to shut me up with it,” Warren said. “It hasn’t worked in the past. It is not going to work in the future.”
WATCH: Elizabeth Warren responds to Trump's "Pocahontas" remark on @MSNBC:
"It is deeply unfortunate that the President of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur." pic.twitter.com/au1QntxDzR
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 27, 2017
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Warren’s response “ridiculous” adding, “I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.”
Frazier also took the opportunity to shine light on the recent and explosive revelations of widespread sexual harassment and assault, reminding people Pocahontas was herself a victim of this kind of abuse. “What happened to Pocahontas is still happening today to our women,” Frazier said. “Native American women continue to be victims of rape and exploitation by white men. The President of the United States is practicing that by exploiting native women as an insult for political machismo.”
Following the event, the National Congress of American Indians asked Trump “to refrain from using [Pocahontas’] name in a way that denigrates her legacy.”
“The President of the United States wanted to utilize an opportunity to honor native warriors who defended this land to make a political attack,” Frazier continued in his statement to HuffPost. “I have one for him, leave the office you bought and take your swamp things with you.”
Trump’s History of Racist Comments Against Native Americans
Below you may read Frazier’s full statement to the Huffington Post demanding Trump’s resignation.
FILM AND ARTICLE CREDITS
- Emerson Urry - Journalist, Author