racism

Rick Santorum Rebuked as “Unhinged and Embarrassing Racist” After He Makes Absurd Claim About Native Americans

Last updated on April 28th, 2021 at 09:19 pm

Rick Santorum, the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania, has been loudly rebuked by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) after he claimed that “there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”

“We came here and created a blank slate,” Santorum said in remarks to conservative group the Young America’s Foundation. “We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here. I mean, yes we have Native Americans, but candidly there isn’t much Native American culture in American  culture.”

Santorum’s statements drew the attention of  NCAI President Fawn Sharp who called him “an unhinged and embarrassing racist” in an official statement, adding that he “disgraces CNN and any other media company that provides him a platform.”

“Televising someone with his views on Native American genocide is fundamentally no different than putting an outright Nazi on television to justify the Holocaust. Any mainstream media organization should fire him or face a boycott from more than 500 Tribal Nations and our allies from across the country and worldwide,” Sharp said, before describing how Native American culture has profoundly impacted American culture:

As far as contributions to American culture, it is impossible to capture the significant influences from individuals with Native ancestry. How do you quantify the impact of Will Rogers in film and popular culture? Maria Tallchief, the country’s first major prima ballerina? How do you ignore Olympic gold medalists like Jim Thorpe and Billy Mills, who changed sports forever? How ignorant do you have to be not to realize the impact of Native American art on every imaginable facet of American culture, from architecture to furniture making to painting, sculpture, and writing?

But most importantly, how can anyone ignore what is arguably the single most important philosophical development of human history: environmentalism. The very concept of man as but one animal within a complex ecosystem, needing to live in harmony with nature and sustainably use natural resources. No idea is more fundamentally Native American and more explicitly spread by Native American peoples. There would be no National Park system without Native American influence.

Santorum has not issued an apology. CNN is facing calls to fire him from his regular position as a political commentator for the network.

You can listen to his remarks below.

Alan Herrera

Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.

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