Tuesday, August 15, 2006

You Friggin' Macaca

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George Allen is taking heat for...well, I don't exactly know what:

Let's consider which positive, constructive or inspirational ideas Mr. Allen had in mind when he chose to mock S.R. Sidarth of Dunn Loring, who was recording the event with a video camera on behalf of James Webb, the Democratic nominee for the Senate seat Mr. Allen holds. The idea that holding up minorities to public scorn in front of an all-white crowd will elicit chortles and guffaws? (It did.) The idea that a candidate for public office can say "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia!" to an American of Indian descent and really mean nothing offensive by it? (So insisted Mr. Allen's aides.) Or perhaps the idea that bullying your opponents and calling them strange names -- Mr. Allen twice referred to Mr. Sidarth as "Macaca" -- is within the bounds of decency on the campaign trail?

I see, if Mr. Sidarth had been white it would've been okay. First off, what the hell is a "macaca?"

If Allen meant to call Mr. Sidart a crab-eating monkey, then he was wrong. Allen said he was referring to the guys haircut.

Now the Post goes off the rails:

We have no inkling as to what Mr. Allen meant by "Macaca," though we rather doubt his campaign's imaginative explanation that it was somehow an allusion to Mr. Sidarth's hairstyle, a mullet. Mr. Allen said last night that no slur was intended, though he failed to explain what, exactly, he did have in mind. Macaca is the genus for macaques, a type of monkey found mainly in Asia. Mr. Allen, who as a young man had a fondness for Confederate flags and later staunchly opposed a state holiday in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has surely learned too much about racial sensitivities in public life to misspeak so offensively.

Emphasis mine. How many times have you seen a description of Robert Byrd that stated:

Mr. Byrd, who as a young man had a fondness for wearing a white sheet on his head and belonged to a group that routinely lynched blacks...

You'd never see that because Byrd is a Democrat and Democrats can never, ever be racist.

It's a non-story, just as Biden's and Hillary's gaffes were non-stories. Unacceptable? Yes. A huge issue that should brand someone for their entire career? No. If Byrd belonged to the KKK and still serves in the Senate, I think I can forgive Allen, Hillary and Biden.

Update (8-17): Mary Katherine Ham echos me.

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