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Harjo: Sen. Allen uses 'R-word' with impunity

"Sen. George Allen's ''macaca'' moment has prompted former college teammates and others from the Virginia Republican's past to tell reporters that he used the ''N-word'' regularly in the early and mid-1970s.

At the same time that Allen is accused of using the ''N-word'' at UVA in the early 1970s, American Indians on many campuses were calling for the Washington football team to stop using the ''R-word.''

Allen's father, the legendary George Allen, was the Washington head coach from 1971 to 1977. A delegation of Indian leaders met in 1971 with one of the team's owners, Edward Bennett Williams, and asked for the disparaging name to be changed.

That meeting 35 years ago was the very last time any owner of the Washington team ever met or communicated with any Native person who wants the name dropped.

This must be very confusing to Allen. He can say the ''R-word'' with impunity, but recriminations abound when he uses the ''N-word'' or ''macaca.'' It may be that he and others use the ''R-word'' with impunity because they can't get away with the other words they'd like to use. They fling around the ''R-word'' because they can."

Get the Story:
Suzan Shown Harjo: 'N-word,' 'R-word,' Redmen and more macaca (Indian Country Today 9/29)

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