Elizabeth Warren on Saturday held her big campaign rally to mark the official start of her presidential campaign. Trump took to Twitter to insult and jab Sen. Warren ahead of her announcement.
The backstory to this is that several years ago, Sen Warren made a mention of how she as told growing up that there was Native American ancestry in her family. Donald Trump over the last few years started to refer to her as ‘Pocahontas’. A disgusting and babyish attempt at ridicule enough, but then back in October, Sen. Warren tried to put the matter to rest, by taking a DNA test.
Indeed, it did show that she had some Native American DNA in her family line, but only a very, very small amount. The release of the test results was seen overwhelmingly by the Democratic base as an unacceptable error on Warren’s part - they mostly viewed it as an attempt to play identity politics and gain some ‘points’ for Native ancestry, with some seeing as an honest attempt to put Trump in his plays for his bullying and lies.
Honestly, I think it was a mix of both. And Warren indeed apologised to the Cherokee Nation (of whom she claimed her ancestry was from) for taking and releasing the test results. However, the mistake was made, and Trump tried to flair it up again in his tweet. That’s old(ish) controversy though - this story, the new low Trump sunk to is in his last line, “...see you on the TRAIL, Liz!”
A clear and horrifyingly cold reference to the Trail of Tears. America has a long history of genocide. In the 1830s, the US government forced the relocation of thousands of Native Americans from the South East to first internment camps, then to designated “American Indian” reservations in Oklahoma. It was a brutal, punishing, tortuous experience, and many thousands died.
The fact that the president would in anyway approach the subject with a mocking tone is completely disgusting, and even though you’d expect it from Trump if from anyone, it’s still somehow shocking.
Sen. Warren has had to apologise other times in the past six months for her Native American claims - it’s been revealed that in 1986, when filling out her registration card for the Texas bar, she filed her race as “American Indian”. She apologised on Wednesday for "not having been more sensitive about tribal citizenship” after the Washington Post broke the story. The third time this week she’s apologised for this overall controversy. It’s important to remember that it’s wrong to try to claim points for being part of a culture you’re not, even if there are other very honest and positive intentions to you doing so along with it.
These are people who’ve been treated horribly and whose cultures should be respected.
That all being said then, with Sen. Warren rightly apologising for her mistakes, what mustn’t happen is that the President of the United States be left to get away with his far worse and far more abhorrent remarks and behaviour.
He must not be given a pass, again, by the media and the political circles to just spew whatever toxic bs he wants, because he’s on the right and because he’s powerful.
I won’t hold my breath.You can learn more about the Trail of Tears and its often forgotten victims, here.