Chief Bill John Baker of the Cherokee Nation is sick of the racist language he hears coming out of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
While Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has called Trump’s attacks “lame,” even seasoned reporters like Republican host Joe Scarborough and conservative commentator Ana Navarro took issue with Trump’s statements.
“This is when you know you’re losing a debate,” said Scarborough. “When your opponent is talking about working-class Americans, and fighting hard to bring working-class Americans back into the mainstream of American economic life, and you are talking about whether someone is 1/32 Native American and suggesting DNA testing.”
Navarro was outright angry. “We are a fabric in America! We are a melting pot!” she explained. “Neither you or Donald Trump are direct descendants of Pocahontas, so you can stop right now saying that heritage, that race, that history are not part of our society in America. They are and it’s part of what makes American great again. Donald Trump wants to make America hate again.”
Regardless of which side one falls on the issue of heritage, calling anyone of Native American ancestry “Pocahontas” is racist, and Chief Baker is sick of it. “I think it’s racist and I think he’s trying to use that as a put-down, and I think it’s inappropriate.”
Indian Country Today reports an unprecedented number of Native Americans running for office this year, and the Obama administration has made miraculous strides working with leaders to promote programs that are unique to each tribal nation. For the Cherokees, Baker hopes this means more of the same kind of outreach by other presidents in the future. Like many cities still struggling to get back on stable economic footing, Cherokee lands have the same needs as far as establishing good schools and the need to repair roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
“We opened up joint ventures for Indian Health Service, we hope they’ll do the same for education as well so that maybe we can invest in our schools to make education better for our kids,” Baker said. “We’re hoping that there will be infrastructure dollars that we can certainly make use of.”
Watch the full interview below: