Gyasi Ross, ICTMN’s Editor at Large, appeared on All In With Chris Hayes last night to address Donald Trump’s candidacy and, specifically, Trump’s 1993 quote, “They don’t look Indian,” as part of the presumptive Republican Presidential Candidate’s reoccurring shtick.
Hayes opened the segment by bringing up the opening of Foxwoods resort and casino in Connecticut, which presented competition to Trump’s casinos in Atlantic City. “Under federal law,” Hayes went on, “Native Americans don’t pay taxes on casinos located on their land.” In 1993 Trump sued the federal government by arguing that the law gave an unfair advantage to a certain class of citizen.
Trump was called to testify before Congress and got into a heated exchange with Representative George Miller. That’s when Trump delivered his infamous phrase, “They don’t look Indian.”
Hayes followed the video clip of the exchange by soliciting comments from Ross, and referred to Trump as the “great determiner of who has what ancestry.”
Ross, a Blackfeet Nation citizen, responded, “This is not a new script at all. … In many ways Native people have historically served as the canary in the coal mine in regards to racial relations and this is no different.
“Obviously now he’s the authority on Native ancestry and Native authenticity in regards to Elizabeth Warren,” Ross continued, “I’ve never seen Donald Trump in any of our communities. And so, it’s preposterous, it’s stupid, it’s Trumponian in its scope that he is making these assertions that somehow he is an authority.”
Hayes and Ross went on to discuss Trump’s accusations that his casinos are doing poorly because of a few laws that somehow benefit Indians. Ross touched on the infamous phrase “Kill the Indian, Save the Man” while talking about the difficult relations between the U.S. and the continent’s First Peoples.
Hayes then asked Ross how he felt watching the rise of Trump.
“It’s not a surprise,” Ross says. “I think we have to be very clear, Donald Trump is just a symbol for an antiquated outdated mode of thought that unfortunately still exists.”
Watch the full segment below: