Statement on the President of the United States commentsBy Harold Frazier
Chairman, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
@CRSTChairman The President of the United States has decided to make comments regarding Pocahontas, “Big Horn” and “Wounded Knee” in an attempt to denigrate someone else. I ask you America, when are you going to come to your senses regarding this president? To say that the President of the United States’ Tweet is thoughtless would be giving you too much credit. I do believe he put some thought into his Tweet, which is obvious as he has once again taken a racist jab, and in doing so, brought up Pocahontas. Pocahontas was only a child when she became a victim of rape, kidnapping, imprisonment, and her forced conversion to Christianity. What happened to Pocahontas is still happening today to our women. Native American women continue to be victims of rape and exploitation by white men. The President of the United States is practicing that by exploiting native women as an insult for political machismo. Pocahontas is beloved by native people and is recognized as a victim of European colonialism. To use her name in that manner is disgusting and reflective of the President of the United States’ ignorance.
The Massacre at Wounded Knee is a tragic time for the Lakota people. It is an incident in which soldiers of the United States hunted down and murdered hundreds of Lakota men, women and children in the middle of winter. On December 28th our tribe observed a day of mourning for our relatives murdered at the hands of the United States. This was just over two weeks ago! This coming from the same type of person who will tell us to “get over it” in the same breath. Of course, Wounded Knee happened when a Republican was president of the United States. To the President of the United States, Wounded Knee may just be a pop culture reference, a phrase he casually and quickly uses any time Native American topics are brought up; but to us, Wounded Knee is a reality that he will never understand. Not only is it one of the largest mass graves in the United States, it is a reminder of what the government, that he are in charge of, is capable of and continues to do indigenous people throughout the U.S. and across the world. Wounded Knee is the extinction of family bloodlines, the mass murder of children and elderly, and the sum of white hatred, bigotry, and racism. But Wounded Knee is also something that he has clearly missed- it is a reminder that we are still here. Just as the Takini (survivors) of Wounded Knee did, we continue to fight for our inherit right to live in a world that has rapidly forgotten what it means to be human.
If Elizabeth Warren, often referred to by me as Pocahontas, did this commercial from Bighorn or Wounded Knee instead of her kitchen, with her husband dressed in full Indian garb, it would have been a smash! pic.twitter.com/D5KWr8EPan— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2019
I would like to educate the President of the United States that the Big Horn mountain range was a site of multiple wars in which the United States repeatedly trespassed and suffered multiple military defeats. The Lakota people, along with our Arapahoe and Cheyenne allies, defeated Fetterman in one fight and Custer in another fight. It was a dark time in our shared history that is better left in reverent memory of the sacrifices our warriors undertook to ensure our survival. I will remind you that we have treaties that need to be honored as a result of your military losses. The President of the United States has once again utilized racism and ignorance to attack the natives of this land. I will not remain silent when the Lakota people and our accomplishments are used in this manner. Harold Frazier is serving his third term as chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, based in South Dakota. He also serves as president of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association. He previously served as vice chair of his tribe and previously as an area vice president for the National Congress of American Indians.
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