The president of the United States, who has responsibilities beyond maintaining a social media account, is infamous at this point for routinely taking to Twitter to go after his opponents. He sometimes even talks in the real world as if he’s on Twitter, using childish nicknames for his opponents that many would be afraid to use without the cover of the internet on a regular basis.
Evidently this tendency runs in the family.
Donald Trump Jr., just like his father, often takes to Twitter, utilizing his follower count that’s well over 2.5 million for belittling and demeaning his opponents.
He did so on Sunday following an appearance of Massachusetts’ U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on NBC’s Meet The Press.
During her time on that show, she insisted that she had no plans to take a DNA test to resolve what are at this point relatively longstanding questions about her heritage. She has informally claimed to have Native American ancestry, but in the absence of apparent concrete documentation of this claim, the president and his allies have seized on the claim as an attack line against Warren. They claim she’s used it to get ahead in her career.
Trump routinely derisively refers to Warren as “Pocahontas,” having done so during such high profile occasions as a gathering of Native American veterans at the White House last year.
Although he’s faced criticism for turning the name of a Native American icon into a slur to be used against his opponent, he’s pressed on, and referred to Warren as “Pocahontas” during his recent stop in Pennsylvania in support of Republican Congressional candidate Rick Saccone.
Mocking Warren’s defiant response to the controversy, Trump Jr. took to Twitter on Sunday to quip:
‘Why not simply “identify” as Native American. Problem solved.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 11, 2018
It’s remarkable because in just one tweet he managed to fit in a dismissal of his father’s antagonizing of Native Americans AND a jab at the LGBT community. The reference to her just “identifying” as Native American is a seeming mockery of those who “identify” themselves as something other than their obvious sex characteristics.
Trump Jr.’s mockery here is particularly insensitive considering the fact that transgender people are sometimes murdered because of their identity.
Late last year, for instance, the transgender teenager Ally Lee Steinfeld was violently murdered. She had her genitals stabbed and her eyes gouged out — and yet Donald Trump Jr. thinks it’s a joke to dismiss transgender people.
As for the issue of his dismissal of his father’s repeated jabs at Warren, it’s not as though Native Americans themselves haven’t spoken out against the president’s language.
For instance, the Navajo Nation’s president, Russell Begaye, commented last year in the face of Trump’s remarks:
‘In this day and age, all tribal nations still battle insensitive references to our people. The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy.’
Trump Jr. taking an online detour to go after Warren comes as he and his father prepare for the special election later this week to fill the Pennsylvania Congressional seat vacated by disgraced former Congressman Tim Murphy.
As of Monday, it’s still a fairly open question who will win the election. Polls have the two candidates — Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone — fairly neck-in-neck.
Check out Twitter’s response to Trump Jr. below.
Featured Image via Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Bloomberg