Normally Trump’s name calling doesn’t fall under the purview of this blog, as calling someone “Crooked” or “Little” is not necessarily falsifiable. But yesterday in a phone call interview Trump again attacked the Massachusetts Senator for claiming to be Native American, referring to her as a “racist” and “Pocahontas.” He has repeatedly attacked the Senator and Clinton surrogate in the past, as in the above tweet.
“She made up her heritage, which I think is racist. I think she’s a racist, actually because what she did was very racist,” Trump said. ““We call her Pocahontas for a reason. She said she’s 5 percent Native American. She was unable to prove it. She used the fact that she was Native American to advance her career. Elizabeth Warren is a total fraud. I know it. Other people who work with her know it. Elizabeth Warren is a total fraud.”
Like many Americans and Oklahomans in particular, Native American heritage is often claimed with out documentation. Native Americans of the 19th century can perhaps be forgiven for not trusting white authority and signing the rolls. Elizabeth Warren claimed to have Native American heritage, though no documentation exists, instead relying on family lore. She described herself as “white” on her college applications. Despite Trump’s claims to the contrary, Warren’s heritage was not mentioned during her Harvard interview. “It simply played no role in the appointments process,” said Charles Fried, head of the appointing committee at Harvard when Warren joined there. “It was not mentioned and I didn’t mention it to the faculty.”
Whether she is or is not Native American really isn’t relevant to Donald Trump’s statements. It is unclear in what way claiming to be Native American is racist. It is clear that derisively using a racial stereotype like “Pocahontas” to lampoon someone’s heritage, real or not, is racist. Imagine the outcry if a person said they were Chinese and Donald Trump called them “Mulan” or Mexican and Trump referred to them as “Speedy Gonzalez”?