Published: Wed, November 29, 2017
World | By Camille Rivera

Navajo Nation President on Trump's 'Pocahontas' Quip: 'Inappropriate' to Use 'Racial Slur'

Navajo Nation President on Trump's 'Pocahontas' Quip: 'Inappropriate' to Use 'Racial Slur'

The White House, however, denied that Trump's remarks were a racial slur and said that what was actually offensive was Warren "lying" about her Native American origins.

During remarks praising their service, he said: "You were here long before any of us were here".

"I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people".

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The use of "Pocahontas" has drawn criticism from many who view it as disrespectful to not only Warren, but to the Native American hero who famously was captured during the U.S.'s colonial era, and who was critical to brokering a peace between Natives and colonialists. "They call her Pocahontas", Trump said. But, you Honor and Respect them with a...racist, derogatory comment about Pocahontas. However, Navajo Nation president Russell Begaye later sent out a statement indicating that he found Trump's quip to be insensitive and bigoted while also noting that the code talkers shouldn't be placed in the middle of his political scraps. She was ultimately unable to prove she was Native American. "The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy", Begaye said. "You were here long before any of us were here", Trump said in the Oval Office.

Monday afternoon, the president was leading a ceremony honoring Navajo code talkers who served in the military during World War II. "I like you. Because you are special".

And as if all this weren't insult enough, Oglala Lakota journalist and Native Sun News Today publisher Tim Giago cited Trump's tone of voice.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders used that as a defense of Trump's comment at the Monday press briefing.

"President Trump couldn't even make it through a ceremony to honor these men without throwing in a racial slur", Warren told Anderson Cooper.

"I feel that the way it was used, yes, it was [a racial slur]", Begaye told CNN. "Senator Warren was offensive when she lied about something to advance her career".

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In 2012, she was under scrutiny for her alleged Native American heritage as she listed herself as a minority in the directory of law professors, the Boston Globe reports.

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