Yesterday Trump had the opportunity to rightly honor brave and courageous men who used their intellect, talent, and tradition to help the United States during a terrible time in our country's history. Instead, and as usual, he turned the spotlight on himself as he demeaned Native American culture in general, and specifically Pocahontas and Senator Warren.
He could have used the opportunity to tell the story of those brave men, and to honor their heritage. He could have helped to educate all Americans about the first Americans, our Native Americans, and given the men a chance to speak about their contribution. He could have used the opportunity to elevate and educate, but instead he turned the spotlight on himself and his ability to demean others. In this case he chose to demean Pocahontas, Senator Warren, and the brave men who stood next to him.
No matter how you feel about Senator Warren's past claims about having Native American heritage, there is no doubt that she has devoted her time and energy towards deep issues of importance to all people. She is not sitting by the sidelines watching Trump and his cronies strip the American people of their rights, freedom, and opportunity, but instead she is speaking up day after day for what is right and good for the American people. She is dealing with very complex issues related to economic opportunity, fair taxation, equal rights, and respect. Many of the issues she deals with are complex, deep, and very important to our livelihood as individuals, community, and nation. Most of us don't even understand the complexity of the health care and economic issues, she supports. President Trump does not look at her work with any depth, instead he hyper-focuses on one aspect of her lengthy career and uses name calling to demean her.
To demean her by using the name of another is to demean that person too. He is making fun of Senator Warren by using the name of a brave young Native American women who endured oppression during one of the first European settlements in the United States. Pocahontas represents the struggles that Native Americans faced time and again as immigrants from many nations settled in the Americas. Instead of using her name to demean, the President should use Pocahontas' story to educate, demonstrate strength, and point us in a direction of doing better with regard to respect and care for all of America's people. It's not surprising that Trump shows little respect for either of these women as we rarely see him stand up for women in any way.
Further, he demeaned the men he was there to honor to by using their good work as an opportunity to forward his disrespect, campaigning, and disregard for others he knows little about or disagrees with. President Trump, time and again, rules for President Trump--he is at the center of his mission, his efforts, his speak, and his work. He demonstrates little care for anyone but himself, and his policies, name calling, tweets, and speak demonstrate that. We have a president that disgraces all of us, and a president that uplifts the voices of racism, disrespect, and hate. To demean others seems to make him feel more empowered and strong.
As an American citizen, I can speak up to the best of my ability, and then do the work I believe in at home and at school each day. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I know that disrespect and ignorance is not the path to developing a strong nation that promotes life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. We must all work together to raise up those respectful, intelligent, and altruistic leaders amongst us--the people who will help us to continue to build a nation that brings people together and develop life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. Senator Warren is one of those leaders, and there are many more amongst us--leaders who are willing to work day after day to raise up American values, opportunity, and respect for one another.