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Harjo: Sen. 'Macaca' Allen no stranger to racial gaffes

"Sen. George F. Allen is a candidate who wants Virginians to send him back to the Senate in November and to the White House in 2008. All he had to do during recess was go to a few fund-raisers, football games, barbecues and pressers, and be friendly and charming.

Allen moved to Virginia in 1971, when his father, George H. Allen, started coaching the Washington professional football team with the dreadful name most American Indians despise.

In the early days of the lawsuit that I and six other Native people brought in 1992 against that disparaging name, the Washington football club would pick surrogates to debate us on radio and television. Their picks usually were overbearing white men with a sense of humor on the crude and cutting side.

Their job was to try to marginalize us and make us appear frivolous to the audience, but to do it with a smile.

Allen was one of their favorite surrogates. He would smile a shark-like smile, which he seemed to think was an innocent and sincere look, as he made pejorative remarks."

Get the Story:
Suzan Shown Harjo: Don't step in the macaca, Senator Allen (Indian Country Today 8/31)

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