by baldilocks

One of my friends surmises that President Trump calls Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Pocahontas because he doesn’t get the Fauxcahontas joke that spread all over the conservative Internet after it was revealed that Warren had claimed to be part Indian and used it to get a position at Harvard. (It was later discovered that she has no Indian heritage and many suspect that Warren knew it all along due to the fact that she stopped mentioning it after she became tenured at Harvard.)

Well, ever since the president dropped the Pocahontas bomb  — again; he’s been calling her that for months –  during a White House ceremony to honor the living members of the WWII Navajo Code Talkers, there has been a huge discussion as to whether the president’s moniker for Warren was offensive or not. Lots of people put it like this to me: “Would you be offended if he called you Harriet Tubman?” Well I don’t know, but since I’m a black American and Tubman was a black Americans heroine, I don’t think offense would be my first feeling. Confusion, maybe.

Anyway, that poor analogy shows that, in cases like these, it’s always best to ask a person to whom the case applies.

Honorable men

CNN political analyst Joshua Green met with Thomas Begay – one of the veterans honored at the event – who said that while he was puzzled by the comment, he was not offended by it.

“The Marines made us yell ‘Geronimo’ when we jumped out of planes, and that didn’t offend me either,” Begay said.

And then there’s this lady:

It turns out that an actual descendant of Pocahontas does not take any offense to President Donald Trump jokingly referring to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”

In a September interview with Sky News, Debbie “White Dove” Porreco said that Trump once asked her if it offended her that he used the name “Pocahontas” to refer to the Democratic senator.

“I know that he uses ‘Pocahontas’ sometimes with Elizabeth Warren,” Porreco explained. “He said, ‘well does that offend you when I use that?’ And I told him no, it doesn’t offend me.”’

Porreco was the model for the animated version of Pocahontas.

Certainly I’ve read accounts of others Indians who were offended by the president, and still others who think that a ceremony to recognize such honorable Americans was not the time to take a jab at a political foe. The latter do have a more legitimate point.

What I do like seeing demonstrated is that Indians are individuals; not that I didn’t know it, of course. But it’s seem that a lot of other people who jump to defend others need to be reminded that most of us can defend our own honor. Or when can decide that our honor doesn’t need defending.

That’s the province of free persons.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on

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The list of up-and-coming media “stars” has me worried.

Forbes recently published its annual list of “30 Under 30 in the Media,” which includes a variety of troubling selections.

For example, the magazine highlighted Jacob Tobia, who has written a memoir, Sissy, and essays that “speak both to the gender nonconforming community” in which he/she “helps demystify the gender/queer divide.”

Huh? That’s what we need in the United States: nonconforming communities!

Clint Smith, a graduate student at Harvard, has written for The New Yorker, Atlantic, and The New Republic. “My goal is to use a range of different mediums and genres to complicate our conceptions of history,” he says, “so that we are more fully able to understand what has led us to this moment of such profound racial and social inequality.”

Huh? Complications about conceptions of history?

As digital editorial director of Teen Vogue, Phillip Picardi “introduced the website’s political and wellness coverage, helping to shift the brand away from just fashion and celebrity and towards themes of gender equality and social justice. He was so successful that he took on the same role at Allure, and this year he launched the LGBTQ focused Them, Condé Nast’s first new brand since 2007.”

Huh? Teen Vogue recently decided to eliminate its print edition.

Alexandra Petri is a humor writer and the youngest-ever columnist at The Washington Post. “We live in a surreal, Dali-esque world where time seems to crawl, everyone’s clocks are melting, and all laws are passed by creepy white bone pelvises standing alone in deserts, and I think we need jokes to get through it,” she says.

Huh? I don’t think that many people believe the world is surreal. Salvador Dali’s painting is called “The Persistence of Memory” rather than “Melting Clocks”–a relatively common mistake. I always thought it was pretty weird, but I guess a 1931 painting resonates with those under 30.

Dali’s 1931 painting “The Persistence of Memory”

Cooper Hefner, the son of Hugh, “recently worked to keep Playboy relevant by bringing back nudity and featuring the first-ever transgender playmate in the magazine’s centerfold.”

Huh? Against the backdrop of a growing number of sexual harassment cases, I am not sure how these actions provide relevance.

Jazmine Hughes is an associate editor at The New York Times Magazine. One of her highlighted credits is editing an interview with California crazy Maxine Walters.

Huh? A good editor would have found a way to toss the interview in the circular file, but I guess those under 30 are unfamiliar with that action.

If you want to feel mad or sad or both, here is the entire list:

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to teach a Pulitzer Prize winner, a Pulitzer finalist, and myriad individuals who have brought honor to their craft. I am glad that none of them ever made this insipid list.

Yesterday on Morning Joe with the world blowing up around Rep John Conyers Joe Scarborough reiterated the status of the congressman as an Icon and implied that his issues came from advanced age. Mika backed him up citing the need to tell her own father that it was time to leave the public stage.

It was a narrative that was used by others as well Jeffrey Toobin at CNN said the same thing implying that his actions were all about advanced age and declining mental facilities.

It was an argument that might have resonated with many American who deal with elderly parents, if Cokie Roberts hadn’t let the cat out of the bag that is.

“Don’t get in the elevator with him, you know, and the whole every female in the press corps knew that, right, don’t get in elevator with him,” said Roberts. She continued, “Now people are saying it out loud. And I think that does make a difference.”

Now Ms. Roberts statements means one of two things. Either Mr. Toobin, Mr. Scarborough and Ms. Brzezinski despite decades of experience on Capital Hill were somehow completely ignorant concerning Mr. Conyers proclivities and thus played the old age card for Conyers, or they were not and attempt to deceive the public to hide their knowledge and decades of silence.

Which is it?