Why calling Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’ is a slur against all mixed-race Americans

For years I’d followed the saga related to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s one-time claim to Native American ancestry. This case demands rigorous thinking about the multi-faceted construction of race in North America and Native thought leaders, including those belonging to the Cherokee Nation, importantly point up how Native sovereignty may be compromised when outsiders such as Senator Warren and President Trump attempt to define the their borders of belonging. Such belonging cannot be reduced to blood quantum or family stories because political and kinship-based are also foundations of Native identities. For my part, I heard in President Trump’s slur echoes of doubt about the legitimacy of mixed-race Americans to define themselves as such. Washington Post, November 29, 2017.

President Trump’s assault on Sen. Elizabeth Warren descended to a new low Monday. Calling the Massachusetts leader “Pocahontas” during a ceremony honoring Native American code-talker veterans, Trump not only slurred Warren — he slurred all American families whose histories include ancestors of differing races. Read more.

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