Column: 'Injun' not a suitable word for candidate

"Mishicot, you probably know if you've zipped through, is one of those small, hopelessly incorrect Wisconsin towns where the high school still fields teams of "Indians" and the water tower still features an enormous profile of a Native American face that is surely - surely - a mockery.

Except that, you find when you stop, Mishicot is not hopelessly incorrect at all.

Unlike, say, Steve "Injun time" Kagen.

Some seem to suggest Kagen's recent use of the term is no more offensive than any of the other myriad Indian references made by unwitting, latter-day bumblers; if, indeed, it is offensive at all.

It is.

"Indian time" is a phrase sometimes jokingly used by Native Americans not paying attention to the clock, he said.

"Injun time," on the other hand, is something else altogether.

"Injun," according to [Hannahville Indian Community Chairman Kenneth] Meshigaud, a man who wouldn't seem to be out looking for ways to be offended, is indeed offensive. It's a slang term and it's also "derogatory and discriminatory."

Not the sort of word, it seems, anyone would rightly want uttered by football fans or scrawled on a water tower. Or uttered by a candidate for Congress.

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