The entry of Congressman Tom Cotton into the race for U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Pryor has caused the race to heat up almost immediate.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee wasted no time in hitting Cotton for voting against a House bill to provide students with low interest loans to go to college while question who someone from Arkansas could afford to go to Harvard. In addition, an article Cotton wrote while at Harvard has come to light where he called for banning cigarette’s on campus.
But the Pryor campaign now is scrabbling as the Senator’s papers from his time at the University of Arkansas began to come to light. One of the most controversial papers involves the repeated use of a derogatory term for Native Americans.
In 1984, Pryor was enrolled in class called “Arkansas and the Southwest” where he submitted the paper entitled “The Quapaw Indians of the Arkansas River Valley.” Throughout the paper Pryor refers to the Quapaw tribe as “Indians” and avoids any mention of the preferred term “Native Americans.”
One line is especially troubling and graphic.
The wardrobe of the Quapaw Indians was typical of most Indians tribes in the southwest. Squaws usually wore deerskin skirts and went topless while the indian men usually went naked except during cold seasons.
But the derogatory comments did not end there.
During most of the early settlement of the area, the Quapaw Indians remained close allies with the French who controlled the Louisiana region.
It is unclear where there are other insensitive theists among the university records but late Thursday Pryor campaign staffers were seen in the UA history department library apparently searching for any other embarrassing documents.
“In past, Pryor’s record has gotten a free pass but those days are over. This time we intend to make sure his record is thoroughly vetted. Everything he has written or said is fair game,” said Bill Nightspring from Committee for a Senate Majority who leaked the paper said they currently have staff in Fayetteville examining records from both Pryor’s college and high school days. “We intend to make this an issue not only in the general election but in his competitive primary as well.”
When questioned, Nightspring was not certain who was running against Pryor in the primary but said he had heard from Washington sources that this was the case.