Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson on Monday told a Native American forum that she will remove the portrait of former President Andrew Jackson that currently hangs in the Oval Office if she is elected to the White House.
“I want people of the United States to come to understand that what occurred on this planet was one of the great evils of history, but that I believe in redemption for nations as well for individuals,” Williamson said, referring to the federal government’s historic mistreatment of America’s original inhabitants.
“We can atone. We can make amends. And if and when I’m president of the United States, we will,” she continued. “We will begin by taking that picture of Andrew Jackson off the wall of the Oval Office, I assure you.”
The pledge from the author and self-help guru was met by hearty applause from attendees of a presidential candidate forum in Sioux City, Iowa, hosted by Four Directions, a Native American voting rights organization.
“I am not a Native American woman, but I find it one of the greatest insults,” Williamson said. “You will not be insulted. You will be more than not insulted.”
Within days of his inauguration in January 2017, President Donald Trump selected a painting of Jackson from various artwork in the White House collections to be displayed in his Oval Office.
While Trump has espoused a populist brand of politics similar to Jackson’s on the campaign trail, the slave-owning seventh president signed into law the Indian Removal Act in 1830, which precipitated the forced relocation of Native Americans known as the “Trail of Tears.”
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