By John Parkinson
After the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Arizona Wildcats Thursday night in the college basketball tournament with a tie-breaking 3-pointer from LaQuinton Ross with 2.1 seconds left on the clock, Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, tweeted: “It’s official. Ohio State is the luckiest team in the tournament. #TrailOfTears.”
That #TrailOfTears hashtag quickly drew a negative response on Twitter, prompting Braley to delete the tweet within an hour. It was archived, nevertheless.
Braley, who is serving his fourth term in the House, then attempted to clarify his intent with a tweet-pology in the wee hours of the morning, explaining that he was identifying with the pain of Iowa State fans who suffered defeat at the hands of Ohio State last week.
“The ‘tears’ I was referring to were the tears of [Iowa State] Cyclone fans. I have removed the tweet & apologize to anyone who was offended,” Braley, 55, tweeted.
"I'm so upset," said one grieving fan. "I feel like I've been raped, tortured, and thrown in the oven to die."
"I feel like I've died of smallpox and left my children to starve before the white man could even reach my village and rape me to death," said another.
Braley's tweet is eligible for the Stereotype of the Month contest because it implies the Trail of Tears is a trivial matter. In other words, that Native concerns don't matter--perhaps that Indians don't even exist anymore. Why else would you use one of their worst catastrophes as a joking matter?
For more misuses of the Trail of Tears, see Trail of Tears Fireworks and "Mail of Tears."