CNN Screen Capture
'That’s right: there is one singularly bad candidate for Native people who shows an ugly hate toward Native people and just shows a nastiness towards brown people in general. That’s right: Donald Trump.'

What a Trump Presidency Would Mean For Native People (Yeah, It's As Crazy As You'd Expect)

Gyasi Ross

No saviors.  

There are no saviors for Native people in the 2016 elections. The privileged white folks running for president (and one crazy-ass black dude who literally said, “…Obamacare is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is in a way, it is slavery…”) are gonna have a hard enough time keeping this ridiculously fractured nation together to focus on building Native nations.

But that’s cool—Native people don’t need saviors.  We survived before “America” was a thing and, if we reconnect with our homelands and ancestral ways, we will be here long after.  

If the US simply lived up to its treaty obligations like an honorable nation/dealmaker, tribes could navigate our own ways. Obama spoiled tribes and actually largely dealt with tribes as Nations in a way that no president has never done before; imagine that—a leader of the US actually honoring its agreements. No other US president has honored its obligations to the degree Obama has done it and there’s no sign that any of the 2016 candidates have Obama’s sort of pedigree (although I think Bernie Sanders could get it, with proper training). The best of the presidential candidates from both parties are folks who have never taken a leadership role in helping Native communities.  The worst?


That’s right: there is one singularly bad candidate for Native people who shows an ugly hate toward Native people and just shows a nastiness towards brown people in general. That’s right: Donald Trump. He’s kind of a scumbag.  I laughed about it early on, “He doesn’t even believe what he’s saying.” And I still don’t think that he believes 90% of what he says—but it doesn’t matter.  If you rile up enough racist/xenophobic/misogynistic energy—as he has done—things get dangerous.  It changes the tone; America already struggles getting past it’s racist past.  It certainly doesn’t need new bigots stirring the pot.

And even if Trump doesn’t believe the racist garbage that he spews, it still has a hateful effect and stirs up the genuinely racist folks within America.  And it’s not just the toothless, uneducated masses that have latched onto Trump’s prejudiced dog-whistles (they have); the neo-conservative bigots who utilize passive aggressive race-neutral language to antagonize people of color also have heeded his call.   

Of course his hate speech toward brown skinned migrants is epic; he seems to despise our brothers and sisters to the south (who have more right to be on this continent than he does).  Yet, he says that the Mexicans who come here “… have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

Well damn. It’s no surprise that his hate speech inspired hate crimes by some Neanderthals in Boston against a homeless Latino man.  When the men were arrested they said, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”

Idiots call this type of racism “Nativist,” but that’s an evil lie. Donald Trump is not Native to this land and it’s not Native people carrying out this hate. It’s other immigrants. White immigrants who don’t like brown immigrants.  

He’s kinda equal opportunity in his hate of people of color. When speaking about the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement dedicated to securing basic human rights for black folks in this nation, Trump said, “I think they’re trouble. I think they’re looking for trouble…And I think it’s a disgrace that they’re getting away with it.”

But even with his obvious distaste of Mexican folks and Black folks, he has the longest history of antagonizing Native people.

Obviously, there’s the history of Trump crying to Congress that American Indian casinos should be shut down because Indian casinos are going to create “…the biggest organized crime problem in the history of this country. Al Capone is going to look like a baby.”  Then, there was Trump playing racial police about mixed members of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe saying "They don't look like Indians to me.”  Additionally, recently Trump was kind enough to speak for Native people about the Washington Redskins franchise, saying , "I know Indians that are extremely proud of that name." (in fairness, Jeb Bush did this same thing—these over-privileged and rich white men love to speak for Native people).  

Trump also recently went on record to say that if he were elected President, “I will immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline...” that tramples on the sacred sites and water supplies of many, many Native people.  

Bad news.  

There are plenty more examples. And while we don’t have absolute certainty as to who will be best for Native people in this upcoming election cycle, we do know who will be the worst for Native people, Mexicans and black folks.  

Thank you Donald Trump for making that clear.  





Gyasi Ross, Editor at Large
Blackfeet Nation/Suquamish Territories
Twitter: @BigIndianGyasi

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page



scd's picture
Submitted by scd on
The one thing that I have not heard from anyone is the fact that Donald Trump is a ‘very dangerous man!’ That’s right! He is a “VERY DANGEROUS” man! Why do I say this? If you study history, before any white man destroyed the Natives or anyone else of color (with a clear conscious) he first had to ’Dehumanize them!’ COLUMBUS about the Island Natives…“These islands are inhabited by Cannabili, a wild, unconquered race which feeds on human flesh. I would be right to call them anthropophagi. They wage unceasing wars against gentle and timid Indians to supply flesh; this is their booty and is what they hunt.They ravage, despoil, and terrorize the Indians ruthlessly.” “(they are) evil and I believe they are from the island of Caribe, and that they eat men.” He also described them as “savage cannibals, with dog-like noses that drink the blood of their victims.” COLONEL JOHN CHIVINGTON about the Indians… "Damn any man who sympathizes with Indians"… "Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice." “Nits?” HITLER and the film…The Eternal Jew (1940) German Nazi propaganda film, "Where rats appear, they bring ruin by destroying mankind's goods and foodstuffs. In this way, they spread disease, plague, leprosy, typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, and so on. They are cunning, cowardly and cruel and are found mostly in large packs. Among the animals, they represent the rudiment of an insidious, underground destruction - just like the Jews among human beings." TRUMP about the Mexicans… "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists…” These are just tid bits of some of the things that these people have said. The end result of Columbus, Chivington and Hitler were total devastation of human beings. Given the opportunity, Trump would be just as devastating against people of color in his own demonic way. He will find a way to justify his actions (and americans will fall for it once again) if he is given the opportunity to become president. Any man or woman that places the value of a dollar bill above a human life is a VERY DANGEROUS person…history has proved it so to be! For any RATIONAL human being this should be a wake up call!

Billy Redman's picture
Billy Redman
Submitted by Billy Redman on
Living in the Southern U.S., I am surrounded by many Trump supporters who boldly claim that the man "speaks for them". Ironically, many of these same people are poor working class people who can barely pay their bills, live in substandard housing, receive the free lunches at school, etc. Yet they think this clown "speaks for them". The billionaire Trump speaks only for the super rich who want to get richer and the fools who support him are the same fools who are hoodwinked every time some charlatan comes along. Yes Trump is bad for our people, but bad for whites and blacks too.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
To scd: You're preaching to the choir here! Most of us know a racist when we see one, but there ARE apples among us who play apologists for greedy racists and I imagine they'll be chiming in soon. Donald Trump IS dangerous (as are many rich, White men) and using his campaign to spread his xenophobia is gaining him a LOT of followers. I feel that it's a good thing that racists are coming out of the closet now (or from under their rock). I would much rather know where I stand with the people around me than have them smile while they sign the treaty they never planned to honor in the first place!

Old Lady's picture
Old Lady
Submitted by Old Lady on
Great article, and also agree with what the previous poster said about the comparison to Hitler. If Trump (and his ilk) don't like Natives and/or other People of Color, boats and planes depart for Europe daily and he/they need to book one-way passage. This guy is beneath contempt, and the danger he would present if ever in a position of real power is frightening beyond the worst Steven King type nightmare.

kickapoocandy's picture
Submitted by kickapoocandy on
Thank you for stating what I've said all along. I think he is the Anti-Christ we've all been warned about. He's a man who is spoiled and pushes his weight and money around to get what he wants and the Republicans will pay hell trying to keep him under control if he is elected. At a time when we need more healing between races in this Country, Trump has the biggest shit stirring stick ever! I've told everyone that if he wins, I'm looking for a new Country to go live in! Great post, thanks.

tmsyr11's picture
Submitted by tmsyr11 on
These are very 'dangerous' times. YOU are fooling your yourself if YOU believe there is anybody else even worthwhile considering their history, scandal, old-ness, carpetbagging, scandal that the other candidates carry. It is ONLY after these 8 years are finished will Americans get to witness and see the depth and divide that the current White House has established. ___________________ This country cannot continue to OUTSOURCE its security, its influence, its economy, its future. Indian country will realize when the musics over….they'll be the last one's left standing because of faux grievances being….carried back….to 500 years ago. All one has to do is go to the south-side west-side, north-side and take in the "carnicerias" flourishing in the market-scene. The steps that cities/towns are taking to attract hispanic dollars for shopping. Along with the market power of hispanics, there obviously is a tremendous influence to political power, hispanic, latino, espainol….Castilian influence. Where is the 'indian' influence? Where is the 'indian' power (aside from going BACK 500 years ago)? _________________________ An earlier article - ICTMN - Sunshine Manning- was complaining that GOOGLE doesn't represent American Indians today. There are old pictures of chiefs and of the 1800s. It serves American Indians -right-, if their grievances are harboured to 500 years ago, it stands to reason that GOOGLE is giving and 'current' portrayal. ___________________________ These are 'dangerous' times indeed. And its unfortunate there are now people who carry and portray them-selves as representatives of 'American indian' people OR associate with American indian people (because their grandpa was partial). But the reality is THEY are just one of 15,000 TRIBAL members (if even registered?????) and likely should have NO BUSINESS speaking for Blackfeet Tribal Elders and their members. Most Americans still don't understand and realize there are 565+ official American Indian Tribal Nations that can certainly speak for themselves. ________________________ Enniitttt…..!! (pointing with his lips)…...

onedman's picture
Submitted by onedman on
Rump is dangerous, not only for what he says but by what he does. How does any rich person become rich? By stealing from others. He values little green pieces of paper over life. I personally think he is sick. Mentally ill. He needs personalized care for a very long time. He has amassed a great fortune through the years and now he is loosing bits and pieces of it daily. His honorary degrees, his contracts with others, his endorsements from others through the actions of his illness. I give him my sympathy but will not turn my back towards him.