One of two things must have happened yesterday just before Trump said ‘Pocahontas’.
If you haven’t seen the uncomfortable viral video yet, allow me to set the scene. Standing before the President of the United States is a group of elderly Native American WWII veterans. Trump was supposed to be honoring these bilingual Navajo marines, these code talkers, for using their native language for radio communications to fool the Japanese enemy in the Pacific theater.
All these men are congressional Gold and Silver Medal recipients, mind you.
So instead of expressing his country’s sincere gratitude for putting their lives on the line for their fellow soldiers, citizens, and the U.S. constitution, this is what our lovable dotard said to these war heroes:
“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.”
Then, after blurting out that racial slur non sequitur, Trump turned to one of the Navajo code talkers and said, “But you know what? I like you. Because you are special. You are special people, you are really incredible people.” (Link to Article)
Never has such a sober man sounded so consistently like such a drunken idiot.
One of two things has to be true about Trump’s thought process here. He’s either saying the first thing that comes out of his mouth when something he sees reminds him of something he hates, or he’s a brilliant manipulator of the media who knows exactly when and where to throw out some tasty chum.
My money’s on Trump being a chum-tosser.
Look at this Pocahontas situation. That’s his nickname for Elizabeth Warren because she says she has some Native American blood and he doesn’t believe her. (Link to Article) This is the same guy who didn’t believe Obama was born in America, need I remind. So Trump meets Native American veterans and instead of honoring their service like a president ought to, he uses their presence to take a quasi-related shot at one of his enemies. With zero grace, he tosses out ‘Pocahontas’ as chum to the media, and of course the sharks take the bait and run with it.
What do you think the headline here was?
If we valued decency in America, the papers would say: Trump Insults Honored Veterans Using Racial Slur. We’d learn that our president used Congressional Medal recipients to take a racially tinged shot at his enemy and decent Americans would scorn him until he sincerely apologized for being rude and insensitive to these special seniors.
But in America these days, we value take-down drama over decency.
We must, otherwise the headlines today wouldn’t have read: Trump calls Warren ‘Pocahontas’ at event honoring Native Americans.
Catch the difference?
With that headline, the discussion becomes about whether or not Elizabeth Warren deserves to be called that name instead of the fact that our leader has called someone that name in the first place.
Don’t believe it?
Just listen to press secretary and chronic Trump enabler Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Asked why Trump would choose to use a phrase that many people find offensive, Sanders deflected to a completely different topic, precisely as the master had instructed her to do. She said that “what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.” And just like that, friends, we’re now discussing the exact topic that Trump wanted us to talk about in the first place. (Link to Article)
It’s brilliant, the same way info-commercials and magicians are.
Elizabeth Warren responded, 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.” (Link to Video)
Let’s go one further.
It’s deeply unfortunate that the rest of us Americans are so preoccupied with all this take-down drama that we let Trump get away with it. Again.
So let’s turn our thoughts back to the code talkers, Native American men who fought bravely for a country that never returned the favor. If you want to learn more about what these amazing men did, what truly special Americans they are, watch the movie Windtalkers with Nicholas Cage and Adam Beach, which does a decent job honoring their incredible bravery and sacrifice.
Something maybe the chum-tosser should have done.
- Mike Lukas
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