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‘Whitewashing genocide’: Rick Santorum blasted after declaring US ‘birthed from nothing’ & dismissing ‘Native American culture’

‘Whitewashing genocide’: Rick Santorum blasted after declaring US ‘birthed from nothing’ & dismissing ‘Native American culture’
Rick Santorum, a CNN contributor and former senator, is being accused of racism for declaring that the US was built “from nothing” by European settlers and saying there isn’t “much Native American culture in American culture.”

Video of Santorum speaking last week at the Standing Up For Faith & Freedom conference, hosted by the Young America’s Foundation organization, went viral on Monday as critics honed in on a specific part of the former senator’s talk.

“We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here,” Santorum said. “I mean, yes we have Native Americans but candidly there isn't much Native American culture in American culture.”

According to Santorum’s take on American history, mostly European settlers worked from a “blank slate” when coming to the US and “set up a country that was based on Judeo-Christian principles.”

“That’s what our founding documents are based upon. It’s in our DNA,” he said. 

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Santorum was instantly blasted on social media and accused of whitewashing the “genocide of indigenous people” and ignoring Native American influence on American culture and politics.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) even accused Santorum of being a “white supremacist” for his comments.

“Stunningly vile,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California) wrote in reaction to the clip.

“Rick Santorum straight up handwaves the genocide of indigenous people,” Huffington Post editor Phillip Lewis added

Some also pointed to the Iroquois Confederacy to counter Santorum’s “blank slate” point. The Confederacy was a collection of Native American tribes that banded together to avoid the growing cost of inter-tribal warfare. It is often cited as having had an influence on the US Constitution. 

In 1988, the Senate passed a resolution saying the “confederation of the original 13 colonies into one republic was influenced by the political system developed by the Iroquois Confederacy.”

Other critics added CNN to the digital firing line, citing Santorum’s long and controversial relationship with the liberal network as a political commenter.

“Well then @cnn. Come get your nativist, revisionist, racist boy,” writer Roxane Gay tweeted

“And @CNN likes to have him on to discuss politics. I guess they feel stupid, white supremacists need a platform,” author Kimberley Johnson wrote

CNN has not officially commented on Santorum’s speech.

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