So in 2006, blogger Ben Tribbett exposed the video of George Allen using the term “macaca” on the campaign trail toward an opposition volunteer who was following Allen around and recording everything he said.
The term, regarded by Tribbett as a racial slur, sparked a debate over whether it was really a slur. Which makes Tribbett’s current employment by a team with a name that is subject to debate over whether it is or isn’t a slur — and a team president who happens to be George Allen’s brother, Bruce — a bit inconsistent, to say the least.
Oneida Indian Nation, one of the most outspoken Native American groups against the team name, recently pointed out the contradiction.
“Ben Tribbett was right to criticize George Allen for using a racial epithet against people of color, so it is surprising that Mr. Tribbett is now a paid operative working with George Allen and his brother Bruce to actively promote a racial epithet against people of color,” the group said in a recent statement. “Mr. Tribbett needs to explain why he thinks it is unacceptable to slur Indian Americans but that it is somehow acceptable to similarly slur Native Americans. Maybe he’s had a change of heart and now thinks denigrating people on the basis of their skin color is OK, or perhaps he was fine selling his principles to the highest bidder. In this case, Dan Snyder has repeatedly proven that he is the highest bidder of them all when it comes to his desire to continue profiting off of the slander of Native Americans.”
More recently, a diligent effort to track down the content of Tribbett’s now-defunct blog revealed that he supported his contention that “macaca” is a slur by linking to a list of slurs that included “macaca.” And, yes, “redskins.”
While not quite the smoking gun that some will deem it to be, the presence of the word Tribbett is now defending on a list of slurs that included the name he once attacked shows that he probably wasn’t the best choice to help the effort to defend the name. Making his hiring the latest blunder by a franchise that has authored over the last year and a half an excellent case study on how not to handle P.R. problems.