In the summer of 1995, Disney released its 33rd animated feature, Pocahontas, which purported to show the adventures of the Powhatan princess, Pocahontas. The film grossed $346 million, and Pocahontas joined the pantheon of Disney princesses. She was a fresh new type of princess, hailed for her bravery and fortitude. She even had "a badass tattoo," and a "a fantastic sense of humor." She was also a complete and utter lie.
Oh, there was a real Pocahontas, all right.
The only thing was, her real name was Matoaka, which means “flower between two streams” (Pocahontas was a nickname, which basically means “naughty one”) and she never had a relationship with John Smith, since she was around 10 when he arrived.
Also, John Smith wasn't particularly the type of guy you wanted to be with. In fact, he was a massive douche.
As Vincent Shilling of Indian County Today explains, “Smith was feared by many Native people because he was known to enter villages and put guns to heads of chiefs demanding food and supplies.”
Yeah, definitely not a hero.
So John Smith, not a good person. And the whole Pocahontas rescuing the colonists (and John Smith) – not true.
In fact, Pocahontas was taken prisoner by the colonists, during which time she was raped and terrorized. Then she was taken to England in a greedy ploy to drum up financial support for Virginia, and very likely poisoned to death.
As you can see, the story of Pocahontas isn’t really a good one…
So why, in the name of all the saints and denominations, did Donald Trump have her name in his mouth this Monday?
On Monday, Donald Trump was at an event honoring the Code Talkers, Navajo veterans who came up with an unbreakable code that was instrumental in helping America during World War II.
As one veteran, Major Howard Connor, who was the signal officer of the Navajos at Iwo Jima, said, “Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.”
So the Code Talkers are a part of living history, America's treasured cultural legacy, a large part of the reason we weren't defeated in WWII... and wouldn't you know Trump just had to go off script and put his foot in his mouth as he spoke to them?
“I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people,” Trump said. “You were here long before any of us were here. Although, we have a representative in Congress who has been here a long time … longer than you — they call her Pocahontas!”
Just like that, Trump started a media firestorm, and there’s a couple of reasons people are mad.