Before Kamala Harris, This Vice President Broke a Racial Barrier

first_imgKamala Harris broke gender and racial barriers this year as the first woman, first Black person and first person of Asian descent to be elected vice president.But historians and Native Americans are also revisiting the legacy of Charles Curtis, whose Kaw Nation ancestry gives him a claim as the first “person of color” to serve as vice president, though the term’s current usage emerged decades later.- Advertisement – Mr. Curtis was born in 1860 in the territory of Kansas to a white father and a mother of Kanza descent, and spent his early life among the Kanza people, who are now part of the Kaw Nation.He learned the language and excelled at horsemanship, according to the Senate. And he pursued his early education in Topeka, shuttling back and forth between the city and the reservation, said Crystal Douglas, who runs the Kanza Museum in Kaw City, Okla.Mr. Curtis was eventually elected a county attorney, and to the Senate and the House of Representatives. Mr. Hoover chose him as a running mate in 1928, possibly because of his popularity in the pastoral Midwest.- Advertisement – His embrace of his heritage, however, also came with a legacy that some historians and advocates say undermined Native land rights.‘One of our own men’- Advertisement – Mr. Curtis also had Osage ancestry, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.Ms. Douglas, the Kanza Museum director, said that Mr. Curtis “did some wonderful things” for his people, and introduced bills backing women’s voting rights and child labor laws. She said that Mr. Curtis’s personal papers show he was “disappointed” with how the Curtis Act ultimately harmed tribal identity. Mr. Curtis, who served under President Herbert Hoover from 1929 to 1933, often referred to the novelty of his background while in public office, speaking of his rise “from Kaw tepee to Capitol,” as his Senate biography notes.Native artifacts adorned his office, he posed for photographs in a Native headdress, and he referred to himself as “one-eighth Kaw Indian and a one-hundred percent Republican,” the biography says. Laura Harris, LaDonna Harris’s daughter, said in an interview on Monday that she and her mother discovered more about Mr. Curtis while preparing for her campaign.“You want people to know that we were politically active back in the 1800s, as well as today,” she said. “And we have served in government and were included in government.”“But he is almost a fluke,” she added. “He did things that, today, we would think they were not very progressive. But that was his time.”Ms. LaDuke said that while Native women had inspired her run, “I just think it is remarkable that a Native person was elected vice president. And a lot of people didn’t know that.” Dr. R. David Edmunds, a retired historian at the University of Texas in Dallas, said that Mr. Curtis represented the 19th-century approach of U.S. policy toward Native people.“Curtis is the last gasp of the old way, and the country moves away from him,” he said. “He has sort of been forgotten because of that.”Rediscovering CurtisIn 1936, when the coffin bearing the body of Mr. Curtis was transported by train from Washington to Kansas, “thousands” were expected to pay respects, according to The New York Times’s coverage of his funeral.Then he faded into relative obscurity, until this year, as Ms. Harris’s selection on a major party ticket renewed interest in his stature as the highest-ranking person of Native descent in the federal government. “There is pride with the Kanza, that one of theirs rose to be vice president of the United States,” said Mark Brooks, an administrator for the Kaw Mission in the Kansas State Historical Society. “But I would say that some would pick that apart and refer to the Curtis Act and what it actually did.” Updated Nov. 10, 2020, 3:26 p.m. ET According to original documents provided by the historical society, Mr. Curtis is referred to as “one of our own men” by a tribal leader, Chief Washungah, who spoke at the Capitol in 1900 about the tribe’s share of lands under treaties with the federal government.“The white people are getting rich off of the lands that have been treated away,” Chief Washungah told Commissioner of Indian Affairs William A. Jones, according to the documents.He added: “I am getting old and I realize that I cannot live much longer, so I am talking for the children now. I want them to stay on the land, and to get some good land.”Mr. Jones, in return, told the chief that “your matters have been carefully looked after by your representative in Congress,” in a reference to Mr. Curtis. In October, reporting on Ms. Harris’s preparations for a debate, the news site Indian Country Today noted that at least two Native Americans had sought the vice presidency in recent decades.One was LaDonna Harris, a Comanche citizen, a candidate for the Citizens Party in 1980 with Barry Commoner; the other, Winona LaDuke, of White Earth Nation, was the Green Party nominee for vice president in 1996 and 2000, alongside Ralph Nader. – Advertisement – Many Native leaders thought a man who grew up with a tribe would look out for their interests. But parts of his legacy, historians say, are overshadowed by his role as the original author of the Curtis Act of 1898, which orchestrated allotment of Native lands and curtailed tribal leadership.last_img read more

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Water polo promotes new co-head coach

first_imgTwo brains are better than one · After leading the men’s water polo program solo for 21 seasons, Jovan Vavic is promoting long-time assistant and former player Marko Pintaric to a co-coaching position. Daily Trojan file photoThe men’s water polo team has consistently been a dominant force in the pool and is now adding a second head coach to their ranks. Marko Pintaric, recently named co-head coach of the men’s water polo program, adds to this intense atmosphere, joining head coach Jovan Vavic by the pool.During the spring, Pintaric was in full control of the men’s team. While head coach Jovan Vavic would most likely be yelling at the women’s team he also coaches, Pintaric, nicknamed “Pinta” by his players, would be ripping a male athlete, even though they won’t play a game until September. This shows a fundamental aspect of the program: Even during offseason, it is still important for each player to give 100 percent during practice.“During the offseason, all the guys enjoy Pinta’s style just as much as Jovan’s, and we are all eager to get better and get ready for the upcoming season,” junior James Walters said.Though Pintaric may yell, he also brings an aura of understanding to each practice, as he has been on the receiving end of all the yelling himself. Before Pintaric was on the coaching staff, he played collegiately for the Trojans in 1997 and 1998. He scored an iconic buzzer beater goal from half the length of the pool to win the 1998 National Championship and was named National Player of the Year. He graduated with a degree in communication and went on to pursue a master’s degree in the same subject.Pintaric, who hails from Zagreb, Croatia, explained that one of the biggest benefits of playing under Vavic is the connection he has with the international players. Only someone who has been a student athlete at USC can understand the difficulty of the task. Since he has experienced both sides, Pintaric has picked up little shortcuts that can help players succeed  in school and water polo.“You face adversity being a student athlete at USC,” Pintaric said. “You are competing with the best kids in the world in the classroom and in the pool. You have to not only be eligible, but you’re also working to win a national championship.”Another perk of playing under Vavic was how much Pintaric learned from him about his coaching philosophy. Pintaric said that Vavic is the most diligent coach he has played for and he has picked up on many of his habits. Vavic is not known to let any pass — let alone practice — slide without scrutiny, and his contagious work ethic was passed along to Pintaric.“Pinta, as a coach, is very good at ironing out all the kinks, especially the little things that we don’t see,” Walters said. “He helps us see things in new ways, like with shooting, passing and different variations of defense.”Since Pintaric began coaching in 1999, his specialty has been coaching the goalies, even though he himself never played the position. The first goalie he coached was still a close friend, as they were on the team together the previous year.“Coaching goalies was completely unknown to me,” Pintaric said. “The position has taught me to look at water polo from a different angle, which has helped my learning curve in any aspect of the game, not just coaching the goalies.”In this year’s Olympics alone, Pintaric has three goalies who he has previously or currently coached participating, representing the United States, Australia and Brazil. In 2012, he had four who represented the United States and Australia.Pintaric tells his players that they must have the right combination of willingness to work hard and love for the game. He encourages them to correct their mistakes and to remember their goals. Pintaric is also constantly looking for new ways to improve his players. He finds that watching endless games of water polo and talking to great goalie coaches has helped him find a technique that works for him.“Their goals are constantly there during training, not just to do well at USC, but to better themselves as humans and to do the best they can,” Pintaric said.Though Pintaric is now co-head coach, he says that Vavic is still the ultimate coach. The program has a meticulous, efficient formula for how the coaching is delegated and it would be unwise to tinker with it too much. However, Vavic has always asked his assistant coaches questions and been open to their advice.Between editing film for the team to watch and administrative responsibilities such as recruiting, Pintaric has proved his ability as a coach. Pintaric said that though this title change will not have many tangible effects, it means that Vavic fully trusts him and thinks he is ready to lead the team.“Being a co-head coach is a very great honor for a prestigious university like USC,” Pintaric said. “My contribution to the team will be more standing time and involvement in the athletics of the game.”The former Trojan knows where his loyalties lie.“I will always consider myself a Trojan,” Pintaric added. “I have been here for 18 years as a water polo player, a graduate student, a graduate assistant, an assistant coach and now as co-head coach.”last_img read more

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Sanford kicks off GOP challenge of Trump

first_imgJOHNSTON — Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford announced today that he is challenging President Trump’s bid for reelection. Sanford said during a recent trip to Iowa that it’s time for a debate about what it means to be a Republican.“As a Republican Party, we’ve lost some of our ways,” Sanford said.Sanford questions Trump’s embrace of protectionism when it comes to trade and Sanford said Trump is leading the party to disregard scientific evidence that the climate is changing.“As to my primary beef, I think it is, in fact, the degree to which he has called himself ‘The King of Debt’ and has led the party in the wrong direction on debt and spending,” Sanford said.Sanford has been a long-time supporter of tougher immigration measures, including construction of a wall along the southern border and penalties against businesses who hire people who entered the country illegally. According to Sanford, Trump “is good at recognizing problems,” but tends to make situations worse.“And I think there are real questions of tone and humility and adherence to truth that I think cause people to doubt what he says next,” Sanford said, “which then undermines our standing in the world and domestically.”Sanford made his comments during this weekend’s “Iowa Press” program on Iowa Public Television. Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld have also said they intend to challenge Trump in GOP primaries and caucuses.last_img read more

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