On Monday, President Trump gave a short speech at a White House ceremony honoring the Native American Code Talkers who served in World War II. And like nearly every public speech given by our 45th Commander-in-chief, controversy and outrage ensued. President Trump, in a rather unorthodox ending to his speech, made a swipe at Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The ending of the President’s speech went as follows:
“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. But you know what? (Trump turns to look at the WWII Native veterans) I like you because you’re special.”
For those who don’t understand the joke President Trump made, Elizabeth Warren supposedly lied on her job application to Harvard University in the 1990s. Harvard University even touted Warren as a “Native American Woman” in a 1996 letter responding to criticisms of Harvard’s lack of racial and gender diversity.
Warren defended her claim of Native American heritage in 2012, telling NPR that it was told to her when she was growing up in Oklahoma that she was part Cherokee. As of today, several organizations have attempted to trace Warren’s lineage back to Cherokee roots with no success thus far.
Warren herself has failed to deliver any evidence on her part backing up her claim of Cherokee ancestry. Some people have even accused Warren of checking the Native American ethnicity box on her Harvard and University of Pennsylvania applications in order to get minority status in the universities. So as a taunt toward Sen. Warren’s claim of Cherokee heritage despite being an obvious white woman, many right-wingers began referring to her as “Pocahontas” after the famous Native American woman from Colonial America. But hey, apparently that’s a racial slur.
Oh, did I mention that Trump gave this speech in front of a giant portrait of Andrew Jackson? I swear Larry David couldn’t have written a better comedic situation. But as you can imagine, the mainstream media absolutely exploded mere hours later.
Outlets like CNN and MSNBC wrote articles and aired reports condemning Trump’s offhand joke as “racist” toward Native Americans. Even Sen. Warren herself claimed that Trump’s statement was a “racial slur” on her appearance on “Anderson Cooper 360.” The Young Turk’s resident water buffalo and Armenian Genocide-denier Cenk Uygur went as far as to claim that if you still like him (Trump), you’re a racist.
If this overreaction by the media shows us anything, it’s that these overblown reactions to harmless jokes and statements made by the Trumpster is a tired and unoriginal dance that we’ve all seen before.
Back in March, Rachel Maddow hyped up her apparent possession of President Trump’s tax returns, only to reveal on national television that she only had one sheet of tax returns from 2005 that revealed absolutely nothing except the President paid quite a lot in taxes that year.
Some may remember the coverage given by multiple mainstream news sources in May on how President Trump gave one scoop of ice cream to several Time Magazine reporters during an interview, while he ate two scoops. Oh the humanity. CNN even went as far as to label the cartoon frog Pepe a “white supremacist symbol” when Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the infamous Deplorables meme in September of last year.
All of these cases, along with this current Pocahontas “issue,” are examples of the mainstream media attempting to stir up dissension, only to have it blow back up in their faces when most people realize how trivial and innocuous things like ice cream scoops and cartoon frogs are.
No, Trump’s joke was not some evil racial slur meant to demean Native Americans. It was meant to demean Elizabeth Warren, a political opponent.
No, Pepe is not a hate symbol; he’s a meme template. Like I said above, these are all overreactions and faux problems. By now we should realize that it’s unwise to say the least to take everything the President says seriously.
If we plan on getting through this administration with our sanity in one piece, we and the media need to stop trying to turn every little tweet and joke made by Trump into some national concern. Learn to laugh at Trump’s rhetoric every once in while. Hell, I think this whole circus we call a political system right now is immensely entertaining. But like I said, if the media doesn’t cool it down with the negative coverage and if we keep on eating whatever fear-and-Doomsday sandwich George Stephanopoulos tries to feed us through the TV screen, it’s going to be a long three more years.