Jackie Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, discusses President Donald Trump on CNN on November 28, 2017. "We're asking him to be respectful of our cultures, our people, who we are as Native Americans," Pata said. Photo: NCAI
Opinion

Sarah Sunshine Manning: How about we just stop calling people 'Pocahontas'




Outrage is focused on President Donald Trump for reviving his "Pocahontas" slur in front of Native war heroes. But the issue is much bigger than that one offensive comment, Sarah Sunshine Manning, a citizen of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes, writes on TruthDig:
Donald Trump is the stuff of cold-blooded Columbus and arrogant Custer—complete with armies of white apologists trailing behind him.

But there is much more to this Trump insult than a pattern of buffoonery or mistreatment of indigenous peoples that must be explored. The fallout of this entire debacle is as worthy of dissecting as the incident itself. Unfortunately, media and consumers of media alike have a propensity for the sensational. News is hot, and then it’s not. The issue disappears and the most substantive lessons are lost.

And when it comes to Native American communities and our scant representation in mainstream media, the issues and struggles remain long after our flash of superficial acknowledgement. By and large, the mainstream media ignore indigenous people. Our representation in public education is abusive, sparse and inaccurate. We are afterthoughts, at best, in American politics. As a result of widespread misrepresentation and underrepresentation of indigenous peoples in American society, Native American educators, journalists, artists and thought leaders are often left to make up for the shortcomings of public education and media.

Moments after Trump’s disrespect of the Code Talkers hit the airwaves, indigenous Twitter and Facebook broke out in condemnation and discourse. But indigenous people weren’t just responding with outrage. They were teaching the masses, yet again.

Read More on the Story:
Sarah Sunshine Manning: Stop Calling Anyone 'Pocahontas' (TruthDig November 29, 2017)

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