President Donald Trump attended the Naval Academy commencement in Annapolis, Maryland, where he said “our ancestors tamed a continent” and that “we are not going to apologize for America.”
Trump was addressing 2018 graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy when he said, “Together there is nothing Americans can't do, absolutely nothing. In recent years, and even decades, too many people have forgotten that truth. They've forgotten that our ancestors trounced an empire, tamed a continent, and triumphed over the worst evils in history.”
“America is the greatest fighting force for peace, justice and freedom in the history of the world. We have become a lot stronger lately. We are not going to apologize for America. We are going to stand up for America,” the president added.
With the comments, Trump dismissed the fact that before Europeans arrived in what eventually became the United States, Native Americans occupied the land. However, they were forced to give up the territory as a result of the “Manifest Destiny.”
The idea of the “Manifest Destiny” expressed the philosophy that Americans were destined by God to govern North America and to spread democracy across the entire continent.
Not only is Trump completely oblivious to the history but he also essentially celebrated genocide.
With his words, “We are not going to apologize for America,” he didn’t only celebrate genocide but also was unapologetic towards the death of thousands of people who lost their lives because of the Indian Removal Act which paved way for the “Trail of Tears.”
The act was signed by President Andrew Jackson in 1830. As a result Native American tribes were forcefully relocated from the southeastern United States. Thousands of people died on their way to their new locations from disease, malnutrition and exposure.
However, this isn’t the first time Trump supported the genocide.
In Jan. 2017, Trump faced backlash after he chose a portrait of Jackson to be hung in the Oval Office. In another incident, the president also praised the populist president’s “ability to never give up” and called him “an amazing figure in American history.”
Trump has also repeatedly disrespected Native Americans.
He has repeatedly used the name “Pocahontas” to insult Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has been criticized for claiming her Native-American heritage.
In another occasion, Trump dropped “Pocahontas” while honoring Native American heroes.
“You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said to the Native American men who were being honored for their service during World War II when they transmitted critical secret messages that helped the United States and allies win the war.
“Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her 'Pocahontas,’” he added, referring to Warren.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Kevin Lamarque