Racism claim dooms bid to honor Mark Twain in NV

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By AP

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Updated: Sun, 18 May 2014 05:15:15 EST

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A state panel has effectively killed a bid to name a Lake Tahoe cove for Mark Twain, citing opposition from a tribe who claims he held racist views on Native Americans.

The Nevada State Board on Geographic Names this week voted to indefinitely table the request after hearing opposition from the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, whose ancestral homeland includes Tahoe.

Tribal representative Darrel Cruz says Twain is undeserving of the honor because he made derogatory comments about the Washoe and other tribes in his literature.

University of Nevada, Reno history professor emeritus James Hulse says it's irrelevant whether Twain did so because his writings were insulting to everyone, including governors and legislators.

Twain assumed his pen name as a Nevada newspaper reporter in the 1860s and wrote adoringly of Tahoe.

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