President Trump took to Twitter after Sen. Elizabeth Warren officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign on Saturday to continue mocking her for her claim of Native American ancestry. In the process, he appeared to joke about the Trail of Tears as well, sparking a backlash from Native Americans, who are not amused.
Cool genocide reference. https://t.co/axeclK9zc0
— âpihtawikosisân (@apihtawikosisan) February 10, 2019
Some Trump supporters argued that the president was simply referring to the campaign trail, not referring to the many indigenous people who died after being forced to leave their ancestral lands on the East Coast of the United States in the Indian Removal Act of 1830. But then Trump Jr. posted a screenshot of writer Michael Malice’s tweet, which played up the possible Trail of Tears reference.
“The Native American genocide continues with another murder by the president,” Malice wrote. The first son replied with, “Savage!!! Love my President.”
A post shared by Donald Trump Jr. (@donaldjtrumpjr) on Feb 9, 2019 at 3:44pm PST
Reaction online was swift.
“To Native people, the Trail of Tears is no funny matter,” wrote Native News Online.
Some more Native genocide you can invoke:
Sand Creek Massacre 1864
Wiyot Massacre 1860
Three Knolls Massacre 1865
Yontocket Massacre 1853
Bear River Massacre 1863
Pocahontas was brutally raped by a white man when she was only 12 years old.
You. Are. A. Racist. Moron. 🖕🏾🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/qpTsHv2e1d
— Lakota Man (@LakotaMan1) February 10, 2019
Please stop saying he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He mocked those who were massacred at Wounded Knee and now he is targeting those killed on the Trail of Tears. His racism against Native people is informed and purposeful. https://t.co/XOswfQ7Y6G
— Ruth H. Hopkins (@RuthHHopkins) February 10, 2019
To the people who insist that Trump and his supporters are aiming their barbs at Warren specifically, not at the actual victims of the Indian Removal Act, several responded that they were still hurt by the jokes.
3) Our ancestors made a tremendous sacrifice so that we could call ourselves Cherokee. @ewarren is not Cherokee & her ancestors were not there. They didn't survive the genocide called the Trail of Tears. Trying to make jokes about it doesn't hurt her. It hurts us. Stop it.
— Polly Granddaughter (@pollysgdaughter) February 10, 2019
Because the jokes come at the expense of Native peoples. They're making fun of Warren by drawing upon racist stereotypes and tired tropes that don't actually hurt her, because she's not Native. They instead further marginalize Natives, & show us what you really think of us. https://t.co/J8WSHnMzj8
— Dr. Adrienne Keene (@NativeApprops) February 10, 2019
Settlers think they’re just so clever & funny making racist “jokes” about Warren- but Warren is not Native, she is not the one being affected by all these anti-Native, racist BS comments, but Natives are. https://t.co/qKFIzGDeJ2
— heatherfeather (@heather28df) February 9, 2019
Some Native American leaders seemed to ignore the tweet, however, instead focusing their energy on stopping policies that might do more damage to indigenous people. New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland spent Saturday with other House Democrats at the U.S.-Mexico border to discuss border security solutions with the people who live there. Members of the Carrizo/Comecrudo tribe in Texas have been protesting the proposed border wall, which they say would be built on sacred land, including graves of their ancestors, who have lived in the area for thousands of years.
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