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Trump gets it wrong again

Calling Sen. Warren Pocahontas reconfirmed his lack of understanding of American history.

Melvin B. Miller

Donald Trump’s attempted taunt of Sen. Elizabeth Warren has bombed. Perhaps his devoted followers have found some satisfaction in Trump’s referring to a U.S. senator as Pocahontas, but Americans with at least a common sense of respect would find such a remark uncivil and discourteous. Trump has reconfirmed his fundamental racial insensitivity and his lack of understanding of American history.

In 1830, before Oklahoma was even a state, it was known as the Indian Territory. The U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which required several tribes of Native Americans to leave their homes in the South and relocate to what became the state of Oklahoma. More than 10,000 died on the forced trek which became known as the Trail of Tears.

The descendants of this deadly forced march still live in the Indian Territory, which became the state of Oklahoma in 1907. Now the population of Oklahoma is 75 percent white with only about 9 percent Native Americans. Needless to say, the so-called Indians do not have the highest social status in the state.

Most prominent white Americans would usually not admit to being related to any people of color, since they are believed by many to belong to a lower caste. Trump is apparently unable to recognize the greatness of Elizabeth Warren’s acknowledgement of being one with other members of the human family. She claims to be more than just a prominent white Oklahoman.

To Americans with some sensitivity, Trump has inadvertently given Sen. Warren a great compliment. But with his usual ability to get it wrong, Trump also seems not to know that Pocahontas was from Jamestown, Va., not Oklahoma.