Trump “Pocahontas” – Final Paper In today’s world, many currentevents deal with ethnic and racial discrimination. On November 27thof 2017, the United States president Donald J.
Trump held an event honoringNative American Veterans who served in World War II, and in doing that he taughtit was okay to refer the Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas”. Trump recognizedthat the Native American people were here before Americans but then he turns aroundand disrespected them. This isn’t the first time where Americans disrespectedthe ones that were here on this land before us, the Native Americans. In thisessay, I will use five concepts to analyze this disrespectful event: origins ofrace, mistreatment of Native Americans within the government and by people ingeneral, Native American stereotyping, the Invisible Knapsack, and reverse racism.I think that we might never know why our president Donald Trump would truly saythis but I think that these five concepts will help me demonstrate and help mebetter to understand why this disturbing and rude comment was made by ourpresident Donald J. Trump in front of Native Americans that helped America inWorld War II because it will help show how early Americans and even Americans now’smind set on anyone who isn’t white.
To first understand why people especiallythe president of the united states, to think that this okay to say thisdisturbing comment, we must discuss the origins of race. In the film titled “TheDifference Between Us”, they discus where race came from, and what where the differentreactions of white people were. They start by saying that race is a socially constructedidea.
Then they further this idea by talking about human variation and how itis much more complex than we thought, and usually people thought that what madeus different was just the differences in genetics but it also has to do with theenvironments of our ancestors and the impact of the environment. Geologicallocation has to a lot to do with the differences in skin color, hair, and bodytypes. Scientist found out that all people are closely related and there aren’tgenes for any particular diseases that can only be assigned to one racial groupin particular. In the second film titled “The Story We Tell” that I watched iswhat really helped me understand the origins of race.
White people’s reactionsto colored people in the 1800’s was summed up in Josiah Clark Nott’s booktitled “Types of Mankind”. In the film,it showed how scientist mislead a ton of people on what race actually is justto make white people seem smarter and overall better than non-white people. Scientistdid this by doing research and writing the differences between colored andnon-colored people. One of Americas most distinguished scientist at the timeSamuel Morton who was a Philadelphia physician. The type of research that wasdone would be to look at the skull size, the skull capacity which wereimplications of brain size which he and most people thought were important andvital. He mostly did this research on the Native American people.
People in thesouth were happy that this research was being done because it made them thinkthat African American people couldn’t behave in society and it help with theirthoughts that African Americans were just natural born slaves and nothing else.The highly Influential book and one of the best-selling science books duringthe time period titled the “Types of Mankind” was the first time that many differentscientists pulled all of their research together to justify that NativeAmericans, African Americans, and basically everyone who wasn’t white were a differentspecies. The United States Department of State, Navy and Treasury were amongst thefirst to buy this book and this shows how the government believed in theseracist views and how some people still believe in these views to this very dayand so some people think that it is okay to make fun of a particular ethnicgroup when they are supposed to be honoring them for their bravery. The second concept that I want tobring up is the mistreatment of Native Americans by the government and peoplein general. In the film titled “The Difference Between Us” it discusses how thegovernment need to separate the Native Americans, Blacks, and everyone whobasically wasn’t white from the white Americans. They did this by banishingsurviving Native Americans in reservations and for the African Americans theyput together the Jim Crow segregation laws. The government also put the Native Americansand non-whites at the bottom of the political and social hierarchy because theywere “biologically different”.
In the article titled “Look at The Myth ofReverse Racism” by Tim Wise he specifically talks about how there are a lot ofways that powerful groups like the government or just powerful groups ingeneral can be racist against groups with less power. He talks about an incidentwhere at North Colorado University the Indian students were tired of theunwillingness of the white school district administrators to change the name ofa high school that has the nick name “Reds”. They were fighting for racism in mascotsthat could be easily over looked by anyone who isn’t affected by the names ofthese mascots.
Native Americans were seen as “uncivilizedwarriors” 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 NativeAmericans. In the second film that I watched titled “The Story We Tell” ittalks about how at the core of America it has always been stated that “All menwere created equal” but that was far from the truth with Tomas Jefferson owningtwo-hundred plus slaves.
At first the Indians were viewed as natural whitepeople but from being exposed to the sun they had a slightly brown look tothem, and with this in mind Jefferson thought that the Native Americans cane becivilized and won’t be the savages that they were put out to be. With the whitepopulation wanting the Native Americans land they decided to go to war with theNative Americans and take it away from them if they liked it or not and for theones that survived, they were forced to go into reservations and they convertedfrom good hunters into farmers just like the white people wanted. The fourth concept that I want tobring to light is “The Invisible Knapsack” which was brought up by PeggyMcIntosh in the article titled “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. Peggy McIntoshdescribes privilege in three different concepts: systematically granted tocertain people, it’s invisible to the people who have it, the assets are unearned.
“The invisible knapsack” is everything that white people have that coloredpeople don’t have. So basically, she is talking about white privilege and howit’s a “weightless knapsack of maps, provisions, clothes, tools, codebooks, andblank 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. Shecomes up with an astonishing 46 daily effects of having white skin. This showshow much white people and people of color are treated differently and how whitepeople could do things that non-white people can’t do. The fifth and final concept that I willtalk about is reverse racism.
In the article titled “Look at The Myth ofReverse Racism” by Tim Wise he discusses why when he was talking to a group ifhigh school students he didn’t seem too concerned about blacks using racialslurs but he mainly focused on white people being racist towards blacks. He talks about how people of color are only limitedto a little bit of slurs they can use against whites. The ones that people ofcolor could use sound more funny than hateful. He also talks about an incidentwith Indian students that want to stop schools from using racial mascots. Hetalks about how turning Native Americans into mascots are offensive because ofthe fact that it dehumanizes Native Americans and white Americans have beendoing 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 asthe words that whites could say to another ethnicity.
I think that all of these conceptsshow how non-whites are treated. This isn’t the first time the United StatesPresident Donald J. Trump has said something hurtful and racist, I don’t thinkthis will be the last either. All these concepts show that white Americans arejust too comfortable with saying whatever they want without serious backlash especiallybecause 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 mistreatmentof Native Americans within the government and by people in general, NativeAmerican stereotyping, the Invisible Knapsack, and reverse racism all show howsome people think that it’s okay to say things like president said.
Whatpresident trump said and did shows how the United States view other ethnicitiesand shows where the mindset of Americans is at and where they are headed.