CNN Urged to Fire Rick Santorum After Remarks Dismissing Native Americans

CNN political commentator Rick Santorum drew criticism after his remarks last week that dismissed Native Americans, sparking calls for him to be fired.

The former United States Senator told a conference of right-wing students last April 23 that European colonizers arrived in the U.S. and “created a blank slate.”

“We birthed a nation from nothing. There was nothing here,” Santorum said in the Standing Up for Faith and Freedom Conference of the Young America’s Foundation.

“I mean, yes, we have Native Americans but candidly there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture. It was born of the people who came here pursuing religious liberty to practice their faith,” Santorum further said.

Santorum’s comments sparked criticism from the Native American community and some politicians on April 26, urging CNN — where he has been a paid contributor since 2017 — to cut ties with him.

“The erasure of Native people and histories, which existed before and survived in spite of a white supremacist empire, is a foundational sin of a make-believe nation,” Nick Estes, an activist and citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux tribe, stated on Twitter.

“Native and Indigenous nations lived, governed, and thrived here before their land was stolen and they were murdered in a mass genocide, you ignorant white supremacist,” Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan said on Twitter.

The Native American Journalists Association issued a statement calling on its members to “avoid working with the network to avoid harassment and racism” due to “a lack of accountability or ethics around multiple racist and insensitive comments from CNN staff,” also citing an instance last week when a CNN host incorrected identified Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, as a white woman.

CNN has yet to issue a comment.


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