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Rick Santorum lambasted over comments seemingly erasing Native Americans from history

Rick Santorum’s critics did not take kindly to comments the former Pennsylvania senator made while speaking at a Young America’s Foundation event last week.

During his talk, Santorum offered his views on the founding of America, which he ties to the Judeo-Christian principles of persecuted Europeans who crossed the Atlantic and “created a blank slate … birthed a nation from nothing. I mean there was nothing here.” After Media Matters‘ Jason Campbell posted the clip on Twitter, critics decried Santorum’s remarks as not only historically inaccurate, but also as an example of white supremacy and the erasure of Native American history and culture.

The Republican did appear to catch himself and acknowledged that Native Americans had lived on the continent before European settlers made their way over, but he added that “candidly, there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.” That clarification may have actually angered people even more, since it was seen as blatantly ignoring the role of destructive U.S. policies, including the forcible removal of indigenous peoples from their ancestral homelands, played in the loss of culture and language.

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