IllumiNative Calls on CNN to Fire Rick Santorum: 'Reckless and Irresponsible'

J. Clara Chan

Darren McCollester / Getty Images

IllumiNative, a nonprofit focused on challenging negative narratives about Native Americans, called on CNN to fire Rick Santorum on Monday after he dismissed Native culture and said there was “nothing” in the U.S. before colonizers arrived.

“Rick Santorum perpetuated a myth that whitewashes American history and attempts to erase Native peoples,” Crystal Echo Hawk, the founder and executive director of IllumiNative, said in a statement. “American history that does not include Native peoples is a lie and Rick Santorum is fueling white supremacy by erasing the history of Native peoples. CNN should not give Rick Santorum a national platform where he can spew this type of ignorance and bigotry against communities of color on air. Allowing him to spread racism and white supremacy to the American public is reckless and irresponsible.”

“CNN must do more to include Indigenous and diverse voices in its programming and fire Rick Santorum,” Echo Hawk continued.

A spokesperson for CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last week, Santorum gave a speech for the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth group, in which he claimed there “isn’t much Native American culture in American culture” and said colonizers “birthed a nation from nothing.” A video clip of his speech went viral Monday on social media, leading to public backlash against Santorum.

“We came here and created a blank slate. 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,” the former Pennsylvania senator and CNN political commentator said. “It was born of the people who came here pursuing religious liberty.”

In her statement on Monday, Echo Hawk pushed back on Santorum’s baseless claim that Native culture isn’t present in “American culture.”

“The contributions of Native Americans are everywhere — our history, our land, and our culture are so important and meaningful that they were stolen by the very people who came to these shores,” she said. “Despite these attempts to erase us, we continue to thrive.”

Source: Read Full Article