The Daily Beast
KENA BETANCURCNN finally fired Rick Santorum, nearly a month after the former Pennsylvania Senator made racist, pro-colonization comments about Native Americans at an event for young conservatives. The Huffington Post first reported this news.“We birthed a nation from nothing, I mean nothing was here,” Santorum said on April 26. “I mean, yes, we have Native Americans, but candidly, there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”CNN’s Rick Santorum: “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” pic.twitter.com/EMxOEYDbg7— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) April 26, 2021 His words were swiftly condemned by the National Congress of American Indians and Illuminative, a nonprofit that challenges harmful stereotypes of Indigenous peoples. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary, told Huffington Post his comments were “unfortunate.”“Perhaps we haven’t done a good job of educating Americans about Indian history, because Native American history truly is American history,” Haaland added.Santorum, a political commentator on CNN, later told Chris Cuomo that he “misspoke,” but did not apologize for what he said. A CNN senior executive told The Huffington Post that “leadership wasn’t particularly satisfied with that appearance,” and that “none of the anchors wanted to book him.” Santorum’s contract, the exec added, “quietly” ended this week.Don Lemon, another CNN anchor, told Cuomo the interview made him “furious.”“Did he actually think it was a good idea for him to come on television and try to whitewash the whitewash that he whitewashed? It was horrible and insulting and I apologize to the viewers who were insulted by this,” Lemon said.Chris Cuomo, it should be noted, is also under CNN-related public scrutiny this week after The Washington Post revealed he had consulted with his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, on how to respond to recent allegations of sexual harassment from female staffers. CNN told the outlet it would not penalize Cuomo for the ethical breech.On Thursday, as The Huffington Post noted, Indigenous groups and Hollywood activists embarked on a “day of action” to encourage CNN to #RemoveRick. Notable names tied to this initiative were Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Helms, Sarah Silverman, Piper Perabo, and Mark Ruffalo.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.