Since announcing his candidacy in late 2015, I have been reminding our audience on our talk radio show "Native Opinion" about Donald Trump's past attitude towards my own tribe, The Mashantucket Pequot Nation of Connecticut. He stated, "They don't look like Indians to me, and they don't look like Indians to Indians.".
The inference was two-fold in case you didn't' catch it:
1.) With no insult meant to our brothers and sisters out west, Donald trump seemingly believes that there aren't any Native People here on the east coast. By saying "They Don't look like Indians to me" begs the question...what are Indians supposed to look like Mr. Trump? And where did this attitude come from? What shaped it? Movies? TV? Certainly not books....
2.) He then stated "And they don't look like Indians to Indians" Sadly, this is another attitude that many tribes of the east coast suffer from. The belief that our tribes are "Made Up". That a group of people got together, and decided "wouldn't it be cool if we just pretended to be a tribe?" Like all across America relevant to Indigenous people, history has not been kind to east coast native people. Assimilation forced slavery upon the tribes of the North East. My own people were forced to be divided among other tribes such as the Narragansett/Niantic and Mohegan People. As history elapsed, and modern attitudes evolved, people married into other tribes and also into Non-Native families. Trump's belief that we "Don't look like Indians to Indians" is simply his lack of actually knowing real native people and his failure to manipulate a few of my cousins from some other tribes here in the Northeast.
But this article isn't intended to be a history about Northeast Native people. It's intent is to shed more light on the "Trumpster" and to add my little piece of foundation to my assertion that Donald Trump simply has no respect for native people, or even more broadly, "People of Color". To do this, I am simply going to present you the transcript from his testimony in 1993 of a sub-committee that was formed to look into the assertion that Organized crime was on the rise within Indian Gaming Casinos. The document is quite lengthy, but I ask that you take the time to read the transcript no differently than you would sit down to enjoy a good book. Pay attention to Trumps attitude towards the proponents of Indian Gaming at the time. Keep in mind that Indian gaming was growing at the time, and Trumps personal profits were on a decline in this industry.
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Link to testimony: https://archive.org/details/implementationof05unit