Published June 19, 2016
HOLLYWOOD — Once U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D – Massachusetts) became a vocal critic of Donald Trump’s race to the White House, he incorporated a routine into his campaign stump speech where he berates her in a mockingly fashion calling her “that fake Indian” or then Pocahontas.
He feels she is vulnerable because she used American Indian heritage on some application forms when seeking employment in academia years ago.
As Trump gets going in his berating of Warren by calling her Pochantas during his speeches, it provides fodder for his faithful who love him spewing out racist statements. In turn, the crowd responds with “Indian war whoops.” Both the candidate and his supporters feel American Indians are fair game.
The constant barrage of calling Warren Pocahontas is causing ire in Indian Country for several reasons, including the tone of Trump’s voice when he says Pocahontas and for what Pocahontas represents. American Indian women are three times to be subjected to domestic and sexual violence than their counterparts.
One critic of Trump is Irene Bedard, whose voice was heard by millions when she gave voice to Pocahontas’ character in Disney’s 1995 blockbuster animated film, “Pocahontas.” Bedard is an award-winning actress, who is also known for her roles in “Into the West,” “Tree of Life” and “Smoke Signals.”
To Bedard, the fact Trump uses Warren’s claiming of American Indian heritage as a classic misdirect.
“I am not overly concerned about Warren claiming American Indian heritage. I think this should be about Trump using Pocahontas in his name-calling. Trump doesn’t have a great history with Native America. Back during his casino days, he went to Capitol Hill and stated once Native Americans are involved, so is organized crime and the Native Americans involved don’t look like Indians to me,’” says Bedard, who is now president of the Sleeping Lady Films, and spoke with Native News Online on Saturday.
“It’s not that I don’t care about Elizabeth Warren and what she did. I give to her that at least she respects Native American people and causes and women. It’s just that that isn’t the issue at hand. Believe me, appropriation is a whole other can of worms. But we are talking about the presidency. And this is not the appropriate discourse the leader of the leader of the ‘free world.'”
Irene Bedard has fought for human rights at the United Nations
“I thought we were making progress, slow as it is…I just don’t to want go 500 years back. The peace of Pocahontas is rolling over in her grave all the way over in Gravesend, England,” Bedard continued.
Bedard says Trump is perhaps the most appalling and insulting presidential candidate in history. According to Bedard, racism, xenophobia and misogyny are the markings of Trump’s leadership style.
“His name calling is sophomoric and only contributes to the frightening prospect of trickle down racism, xenophobia and misogyny. Does he really think it be complimentary in any way? Of course it isn’t. It is an insult.”
“It is truly perplexing to me that the American public does not see the dangers inherent in this type of rhetoric. A leader has to have the wisdom to not resort to name calling and get to the brass tacks of building bridges…not walls,” Bedard continued.
“If that is where this country is going, God help us.”