Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee announced his plans to run for president on Tuesday, May 5. During his speech, the Republican attempted to criticize current president Barack Obama and squandered hope of gaining Native American support in the 2016 election.
“When I hear our current president say he wants Christians to get off their high horse so we can make nice with radical jihadists, I wonder if he can watch a western from the ’50s and be able to figure out who the good guys and the bad guys really are,” stated the politician, who was once a Southern Baptist pastor.
This absurd comment came in reference to a speech made by Obama at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast. Whilst speaking about Islamic terrorism, the president reminded the audience that most, if not all, religions have dark aspects of their history.
“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Huckabee seems to feel that Obama’s acknowledgement of the atrocities that founded our country is unpatriotic, as evidenced by his stance on outdated cowboy and Indian movies. This disjointed statement stands out as especially ridiculous in light of criticism these tropes have garnered recently in response to Adam Sandler’s disrespectful film script.
The conservative politician went on to say, “I commit this to you today, I will never, ever apologize for America–ever.”
Sometimes, an apology on the part of powerful entities such as the United States is in order. Clearly, this presidential candidate’s pride prevents him from admitting to past and present American faults.
At least a dozen individuals have come forward as Republican candidates for 2016’s presidential election, and Huckabee is not the first to make discriminatory propositions towards the Native population.
Senator Rand Paul pushed for the abolishment of the Bureau of Indian Affairs when he took office in 2011, but has yet to speak out about taking such action if he becomes president.
“Sadly, this is what people have come to expect from GOP candidates who constantly push policies and views that are harmful to Americans. Mike Huckabee’s offensive, outdated, and divisive social views have no place in the 21st century,” commented Democratic National Committee spokesperson Eric Walker to Indian Country Today Media Network.
No politician of any party affiliation is perfect, but candidates who take blatant discriminatory jabs at entire demographics while expressing a desire to represent the country as a whole must be considered carefully. While we have yet to reach the thick of the campaign trail, it is vital to take note of these biases now.
The Lakota People’s Law Project is appalled by this display of ignorance from Mike Huckabee. As a non-profit organization, we do not endorse or discredit any political candidate. As we have been working to stand behind Native Americans and their sovereignty, we hope they will be considered appropriately in the political arena.