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Trump Made a Racist ‘Pocahontas’ Joke About Elizabeth Warren at a Ceremony Honoring Native Americans

On Monday, the White House held a ceremony honoring Navajo veterans of World War II — which, in theory, was all well and good until President Trump decided to use the event to make yet another “Pocahontas” joke about Senator Elizabeth Warren.

As the Washington Post reports, the White House hosted the World War II Navajo code talkers, a group of Native Americans that served in the war by sending coded messages to troops in the Pacific Theater. Instead of simply honoring them for their accomplishments, the president used the event as an excuse to make another attack against Warren, who he refers to as “Pocahontas.”

“I just want to thank you because you’re very, very special people,” Trump said to the Native American veterans. “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, I like you because you are special. You are special people.”

As a quick refresher, Trump began referring to Warren by the racist nickname back when he was still a candidate for the presidency in 2016, after Warren claimed she has Native American heritage. Ever since, Native American groups have objected to Trump’s use of the nickname, as it is widely considered a racial slur for those of Native American descent. To only make matters worse, the president stood below a portrait of Andrew Jackson, the U.S. president who signed the Indian Removal Act into law.

According to CNN, the president’s “joke” did *not* sit well in the room (as you might expect), and was followed by an awkward silence.

“This is something that unfortunately came up during the campaign and it seems to have stuck in the mind of the president, something that he continues to use, to take a jab at the senator,” Russell Begaye, the president of the Navajo Nation, told the New York Times following the incident. “The campaign is over. The nation needs to move forward, and using Native Americans in this way, in this type of honoring setting is something that should not be happening.”

Caroline is the Evening/Weekend Editor and Style Editor at Her Campus, a senior public relations major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a leather jacket enthusiast.  You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @c_pirozzolo. 
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