MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes" program posted a clip of Donald Trump's October 1993 appearance on Capitol Hill during which he made racially charged remarks about tribes and unfounded claims about the Indian gaming industry.
Opinion | Politics

Gyasi Ross: Everyone mad about Trump should have listened to Native people

As controversy over President Donald Trump's "shithole" remarks enters its second week, Gyasi Ross, a citizen of the Blackfeet Nation, wonders if the situation could have been avoided by actually listening to Native people, who have long been targets of the man now occupying the White House:
Before the alleged “shithole nations” comment. Irrespective of the “shithole nations” comment. Native people have been sounding the alarm for decades, telling the world that Trump is racist and perhaps they should watch out. Yet, no one seemed to listen because…well who listens to Natives anyway? And then, as the result of not listening to those Natives, folks end up saying hilarious stuff about Trump like “I think he is a racist.” Anderson Cooper cried his white tears to speak of how noble and resilient the people of Haiti were, and therefore not deserving of the “shithole nations” designation. At least Don Lemon had the insight to say that a lot of people already knew that Trump was racist and shout out to Charles Blow for keeping it 100% honest and saying, unequivocally, that Trump is a racist and that “Those are just facts, supported by the proof of the words that keep coming directly from him.”

Maybe those folks listened to Natives. 20-some years ago. If not, they should have.

Trump has repeatedly said untrue disgusting lies about Native for decades hoping to harm Native communities. For example, in 1993 on the Don Imus show (remember him?), Trump was talking about the Ramapough Tribe and said, “"Well, I think I might have more Indian blood than a lot of the so-called Indians that are trying to open up the reservations.” Also in 1993, Trump was trying to sink the Mashantucket Pequot gaming operation testifying before the House Native American Affairs Subcommittee. He urged Subcommittee members to go up to Connecticut and look at the Mashantucket Pequots. He said about them, "They don't look like Indians to me."

He also said, at that same testimony, that Native communities will be sanctuaries of organized crime and “will be the biggest scandal ever, the biggest since Al Capone.” He continued, "You have a group of Indians in Connecticut. I've heard $300 [million] to $400 million. They don't pay taxes. Why not distribute the money to other Indians?... I believe this tribe has 300, 400 members. Do you think it's appropriate for 300 [members], who lucked out with a location between New York and Boston, shouldn't give some of the money out to others?"

Mashantucket Pequot officials called Trump “racist” all the way back then. Since that time, Trump’s had the whole “Pocahontas” thing three or four times, Navajo Code Talkers and all kinds of stupid and racist stuff against Natives. But we’re talking decades ago, when Native people first began screaming how horrible this dude was.

Read More on the Story:
Gyasi Ross: “Shithole Country” Comment or Not it’s Not Worth Debating: Native People Know Trump’s BEEN a Racist (The Huffington Post January 15, 2018)

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