Ankara, Turkey — A coalition of Turkish government members have signed a resolution calling on the United Nations and President Obama to declare the 1830s Trail of Tears an act of genocide. The move, which some say was motivated by recent criticism of Turkey in their refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide, was a surprise to Washington insiders who typically are not on the receiving end of such a resolution.
The Trail of Tears commonly refers to a series of forced relocations of Native American nations in the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830 following intense Congressional lobbying from then President and horrendous dick Andrew Jackson. The removal included members of the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, some of whom chose not to assimilate with American society, from their ancestral homelands in the southeastern U.S. to an area west of the Mississippi River that had been designated as Indian Territory. Many suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while going on the route to their destinations and many died.
“We call on President Obama and the United States Congress,” said Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the 12th and current President of Turkey in a prepared statement, “to recognize human rights, truth, justice, solidarity and condemnation against all denialist policy regarding the genocide and crimes against humanity suffered by the Native American nations.”
On the 2008 campaign trail, then presidential candidate Obama promised to use the word “genocide” to describe the 1915 massacre by Turks of Armenians — a pledge he made when seeking Armenian-American votes. However since then, he has not uttered the word genocide with regards to the events of 1915 in Armenia. With regards to the Trail of Tears request from the Turkish government, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest had stern words for the press.
“What part of ‘we’re not going to use the word genocide in any official communication’ don’t you get?” Questioned an irritated Secretary Earnest in a Friday press conference. “We’re not going to do it. Even if Kim Kardashian asked us to do it. And we’re not going to even discuss the ancient history of the Trail of Tears. There has to be a statute of limitations on this stuff.”
As luck would have it, third generation Armenian-American personality Kim Kardashian has formerly made a request that President Obama recognize the Armenian genocide. She mentioned nothing about the Trail of Tears.
“I would like President Obama to use the word ‘genocide’,” Kardashian said a new op-ed piece for Time magazine. “It’s very disappointing he hasn’t used it as president. We thought it was going to happen this year.”
As for the Turkish government, they are doing their best to deflect attention away from them.
“The governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan deny that the Ottoman authorities attempted to exterminate the Armenian people,” continued President Erdoğan. “We acknowledge that during World War I many Armenians died, but counter that Muslim Turks died as well. The number of Armenian victims has been inflated. However the United States can admit their participation in the systematic killing of its Native Americans. It’s the right thing to do to move forward.”