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Mark Twain Too Racist for Nevada Tribe

An effort to name a Lake Tahoe cove after American literary icon Mark Twain has been scuttled for the second time in three years, citing opposition from a tribe that says the writer held racist views of 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 Lake Tahoe. Darrel Cruz, head of the tribe’s cultural resource department, said the late author did not deserve to have a scenic cove on the lake’s northeast shore named for Samuel Clemens, Twain’s real name.

“Samuel Clemens had racist views on the native people of this country and has captured those views in his literature,” Cruz wrote in a letter to the board. “Therefore, we cannot support the notion of giving a place name in Lake Tahoe to Samuel Clemens.”. . .

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