Trump “Pocahontas” – Final Paper

            In today’s world, many current
events deal with ethnic and racial discrimination. On November 27th
of 2017, the United States president Donald J. Trump held an event honoring
Native American Veterans who served in World War II, and in doing that he taught
it was okay to refer the Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas”. Trump recognized
that the Native American people were here before Americans but then he turns around
and disrespected them. This isn’t the first time where Americans disrespected
the ones that were here on this land before us, the Native Americans. In this
essay, I will use five concepts to analyze this disrespectful event: origins of
race, mistreatment of Native Americans within the government and by people in
general, Native American stereotyping, the Invisible Knapsack, and reverse racism.
I think that we might never know why our president Donald Trump would truly say
this but I think that these five concepts will help me demonstrate and help me
better to understand why this disturbing and rude comment was made by our
president Donald J. Trump in front of Native Americans that helped America in
World War II because it will help show how early Americans and even Americans now’s
mind set on anyone who isn’t white.

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            To first understand why people especially
the president of the united states, to think that this okay to say this
disturbing comment, we must discuss the origins of race. In the film titled “The
Difference Between Us”, they discus where race came from, and what where the different
reactions of white people were. They start by saying that race is a socially constructed
idea. Then they further this idea by talking about human variation and how it
is much more complex than we thought, and usually people thought that what made
us different was just the differences in genetics but it also has to do with the
environments of our ancestors and the impact of the environment. Geological
location has to a lot to do with the differences in skin color, hair, and body
types. Scientist found out that all people are closely related and there aren’t
genes for any particular diseases that can only be assigned to one racial group
in particular. In the second film titled “The Story We Tell” that I watched is
what really helped me understand the origins of race. White people’s reactions
to colored people in the 1800’s was summed up in Josiah Clark Nott’s book
titled “Types of Mankind”.  In the film,
it showed how scientist mislead a ton of people on what race actually is just
to make white people seem smarter and overall better than non-white people. Scientist
did this by doing research and writing the differences between colored and
non-colored people. One of Americas most distinguished scientist at the time
Samuel Morton who was a Philadelphia physician. The type of research that was
done would be to look at the skull size, the skull capacity which were
implications of brain size which he and most people thought were important and
vital. He mostly did this research on the Native American people. People in the
south were happy that this research was being done because it made them think
that African American people couldn’t behave in society and it help with their
thoughts that African Americans were just natural born slaves and nothing else.
The highly Influential book and one of the best-selling science books during
the time period titled the “Types of Mankind” was the first time that many different
scientists pulled all of their research together to justify that Native
Americans, African Americans, and basically everyone who wasn’t white were a different
species. The United States Department of State, Navy and Treasury were amongst the
first to buy this book and this shows how the government believed in these
racist views and how some people still believe in these views to this very day
and so some people think that it is okay to make fun of a particular ethnic
group when they are supposed to be honoring them for their bravery.

            The second concept that I want to
bring up is the mistreatment of Native Americans by the government and people
in general. In the film titled “The Difference Between Us” it discusses how the
government need to separate the Native Americans, Blacks, and everyone who
basically wasn’t white from the white Americans. They did this by banishing
surviving Native Americans in reservations and for the African Americans they
put together the Jim Crow segregation laws. The government also put the Native Americans
and non-whites at the bottom of the political and social hierarchy because they
were “biologically different”. In the article titled “Look at The Myth of
Reverse Racism” by Tim Wise he specifically talks about how there are a lot of
ways that powerful groups like the government or just powerful groups in
general can be racist against groups with less power. He talks about an incident
where at North Colorado University the Indian students were tired of the
unwillingness of the white school district administrators to change the name of
a high school that has the nick name “Reds”. They were fighting for racism in mascots
that could be easily over looked by anyone who isn’t affected by the names of
these mascots.

            Native Americans were seen as “uncivilized
warriors” that weren’t “civilized” but had the potential to be what they weren’t.
The third concept that I would like to talk about is the stereotyping of Native
Americans. In the second film that I watched titled “The Story We Tell” it
talks about how at the core of America it has always been stated that “All men
were created equal” but that was far from the truth with Tomas Jefferson owning
two-hundred plus slaves. At first the Indians were viewed as natural white
people but from being exposed to the sun they had a slightly brown look to
them, and with this in mind Jefferson thought that the Native Americans cane be
civilized and won’t be the savages that they were put out to be. With the white
population wanting the Native Americans land they decided to go to war with the
Native Americans and take it away from them if they liked it or not and for the
ones that survived, they were forced to go into reservations and they converted
from good hunters into farmers just like the white people wanted.

            The fourth concept that I want to
bring to light is “The Invisible Knapsack” which was brought up by Peggy
McIntosh in the article titled “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. Peggy McIntosh
describes privilege in three different concepts: systematically granted to
certain people, it’s invisible to the people who have it, the assets are unearned.
“The invisible knapsack” is everything that white people have that colored
people don’t have. So basically, she is talking about white privilege and how
it’s a “weightless knapsack of maps, provisions, clothes, tools, codebooks, and
blank checks.” She says how men have privileges that are also invisible to them.
She constructed a long list of the daily effects of having white privilege. She
comes up with an astonishing 46 daily effects of having white skin. This shows
how much white people and people of color are treated differently and how white
people could do things that non-white people can’t do.

            The fifth and final concept that I will
talk about is reverse racism. In the article titled “Look at The Myth of
Reverse Racism” by Tim Wise he discusses why when he was talking to a group if
high school students he didn’t seem too concerned about blacks using racial
slurs but he mainly focused on white people being racist towards blacks. He talks about how people of color are only limited
to a little bit of slurs they can use against whites. The ones that people of
color could use sound more funny than hateful. He also talks about an incident
with Indian students that want to stop schools from using racial mascots. He
talks about how turning Native Americans into mascots are offensive because of
the fact that it dehumanizes Native Americans and white Americans have been
doing this for centuries. He talks about how Indians are viewed as “savages,
not fully human, and wild”. He states that he will stick to “reverse racism”
and take white racism serious when we can find a word that is as offensive as
the words that whites could say to another ethnicity.

            I think that all of these concepts
show how non-whites are treated. This isn’t the first time the United States
President Donald J. Trump has said something hurtful and racist, I don’t think
this will be the last either. All these concepts show that white Americans are
just too comfortable with saying whatever they want without serious backlash especially
because he is a part of the government and is the president of the United States.
I think that it is important to realize how the origins of race, the mistreatment
of Native Americans within the government and by people in general, Native
American stereotyping, the Invisible Knapsack, and reverse racism all show how
some people think that it’s okay to say things like president said. What
president trump said and did shows how the United States view other ethnicities
and shows where the mindset of Americans is at and where they are headed.


I'm Erica!

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