One of President Donald Trump’s favorite pastimes is bestowing insulting nicknames on people he doesn’t like. There’s “Sloppy Steve” Bannon, “Crooked” Hillary Clinton, and “Pocahontas” — aka Senator Elizabeth Warren. And Warren addressed the “Pocahontas” epithet today, February 14th.
At a National Congress of American Indians event, Warren referenced Trump’s pejorative and told the story of the real Pocahontas. She talked about how, contrary to depictions of her in pop culture, Pocahontas helped establish trade relations with settlers as a child but was later imprisoned and raped as a teenager.
Warren continued her speech by saying that, although Native Americans have been mistreated for centuries, Trump’s use of the nickname “Pocahontas” during an event honoring Navajo veterans was particularly offensive.
The senator also defended her unverified claims of Native American ancestry that led the president to give her the nickname. She acknowledged that her family was not part of any Native American tribe, but she said that her “mother’s family was part Native American.” And she spoke about how her father’s parents had disapproved of her mother because of this.
Warren finished her speech by promising fight for Native Americans in Congress. Boston Globe reporter Matt Viser later tweeted that the audience gave Warren a standing ovation, and that the group’s president had yelled, “We’ve got your back” in response to her speech.
Trump’s use of the name “Pocahontas” mocks Native American culture, and we’re glad to see Warren condemn it. We hope the senator will use her platform to continue to advocate for Native Americans and for all marginalized people.