ATLANTA — A Native American Democratic official blasted President Donald Trump’s use of “Pocahontas” as an insult in his ongoing war of words with Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren. “There has been no outrage about ‘Pocahontas,’” Frank LaMere said during a meeting of the Democratic National Committee’s Native American Council. “If he had said the N-word, the whole Democratic Party would have been after him. ‘Pocahontas’ is no different.” LaMere is the associate chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party and a DNC member.
The Pocahontas insult – a reference to the 17th century Native American from Virginia’s colonial period – is in regard to Senator Warren’s claimed Native American heritage, which became an issue during her 2012 campaign in Massachusetts. Republican incumbent Scott Brown challenged her ancestry and seemingly implied that she was a beneficiary of affirmative action by claiming Indian heritage during school and job applications.
Rion Ramirez, the chairman of the DNC Native American Council, elaborated on LaMere’s comment, saying “She [Senator Warren] needs to take him [President Trump] to task,” for the Pocahontas insult, before adding that she also needed to elaborate on her own ancestry. “She needs to step up and explain her relationship with Indian country.”
Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren will be a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee – which is responsible for oversight of the military and the Pentagon – beginning in January. Why is this significant? According to the Boston Globe:
The posting which Warren sought and will take effect when a new Congress convenes next year, adds a new set of issues to Warren’s portfolio and promises to fuel speculation about a possible 2020 bid for president. The liberal firebrand — who is best known for dressing down Wall Street CEOs and pushing for ways to bolster the economic health of the middle class — will now be getting elbows deep in debates about defense spending, Russian cyberattacks, and deployment of the nation’s military around the world.
The decision also puts Warren (and by extension the state of Massachusetts) back on the committee that has oversight and importance for defense contractors in her state. Her previous two predecessors – Ted Kennedy and Scott Brown – were members of the committee. Warren will join the committee in time to participate in the confirmation hearings for General James Mattis (Ret.) to be the next Secretary of Defense. To get this position, Warren gave up her position on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. As the Globe also mentioned, it will give her opportunity to brush up on foreign policy and national security issues ahead of a possible 2020 presidential run.