Dear Editor: Not lost on the media was the bitter irony of President Andrew Jackson’s portrait hanging in the background as Donald Trump’s disgraceful conduct marred a ceremony awarding Medals of Honor to Navajo elders who played a critical role in winning the war in the Pacific. And Trump himself has boasted about his resemblance to the general and president who put the Cherokee Nation on the "Trail of Tears." But how similar are they really?
Although Jackson did rise through the ranks in government, he made his money and secured the alliances that would make him president in real estate.
Jackson rose to prominence in the War of 1812, thanks in no small part to Cherokee warriors, who played a critical role against the British. Likewise, Trump can thank the Navaho "Code Talkers" for making the world safe for his deal-making, rise as a TV star and leader of the known universe.
Jackson turned his back on the Cherokee and allowed the state of Georgia, a Congress hostile to Native Americans, a compliant Supreme Court, and a rabidly anti-Indian public to illegally force them out of their homes and off their land.
Trump, after promising to be a "fair broker" for a just resolution, for peace in the Middle East, has likewise reneged, turning his back while Israel forces Palestinians from their homes, takes their lands and allows them to be illegally settled by bands of anti-Arab extremists.
Jackson’s most enduring legacy has become the genocide of the Indian nations of the South. And it only remains to be seen if a similar legacy follows Trump’s reign.
Of course it wasn’t just Jackson to blame for the Trail of Tears, it was America and it will be America again unless we and our media find the sense of decency we’ve lost.
Send your letter to the editor to email@example.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.