It seems that President Donald Trump and his family just can’t stay away from Twitter controversy. Most recently, the president’s son, Eric Trump, defended his dad’s “Pocahontas” remarks mocking Senator Elizabeth Warren at a ceremony meant to honor Navajo Code Talkers.
Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump has used the pejorative term to refer to Warren because of her unverified claims that she has Native American ancestry. His comment — and particularly the occasion at which he chose to use it — was met with immediate backlash, especially from Native American leaders.
Russell Begaye, the president of Navajo Nation told The New York Times that Trump’s use of the name was offensive and that the president should stop calling Warren by the nickname.
But the president’s allies maintained that the nickname was not offensive. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told an ABC reporter that “Pocahontas” is a not a racial slur. And in a tweet that completely missed the point, the younger Trump wrote that ABC should not say that the nickname “Pocahontas” is offensive because of the company’s affiliation with Disney, which made the 1995 movie of the same name.
Twitter users were quick to point out the flaws in Trump’s logic. Some explained that the title of the Disney movie is not offensive because it refers to, you know, a real historical figure.
A Disney movie has nothing to do with using the name of one Native American woman to mock all Native Americans or people who have Native American ancestry. Despite what Trump’s allies say, calling Warren “Pocahontas,” to Native American veterans, no less, is racist.
The bottom line is if someone of a particular ethnic group is telling you not to use a word because it offends them, you need to listen. Trump should have more respect for the people he represents.