macaca-gate isn't going away

Macaca-gate isn't going away, not if these Three Cute Lil' Macacas have anything to say about it. Here's a story on S.R. Sidarth, the Indian American guy who was the object of George Allen's ridicule, sparking this whole controversy: Fairfax Native Says Allen's Words Stung.

Meanwhile, Senator Allen gave protesters and supporters the slip last week, canceling a scheduled visit to downtown Staunton, VA on Friday: Allen, dogged by protest, dodges downtown. Do note the awesome photo of protesters dressed as a banana and a monkey.


never forget the macaca

Senator George Allen personally apologized yesterday to S.R. Sidarth for referring to him as "macaca" nearly two weeks ago: Senator Apologizes to Student for Remark.

I guess he realized that it was in his best interest, career-wise, to get past this incident. But I hope people aren't that quick to forget this, as well as Allen's racially charged past, when election time rolls around... Never forget the Macaca.


macaca-gate update

The latest in Macaca-gate... So Senator Allen offered his apology to Indian American leaders: Allen's remarks called hurtful. Says Allen, "What bothers me the most of all of this, it's so contrary to who I am. It tears my guts up." Really? Is it really so contrary? How about the Senator's long association with the Confederate flag? Is that so contrary? I don't know, I'm having my doubts about the guts thing.

Meanwhile, MoveOn.org has created an online petition asking the Republican National Committee to withdraw support of Senator Allen: The RNC should withdraw support for Sen. Allen

Also, S.R. Sidarth's grandparents recently wrote a letter to the Washington Post: What Did Mr. Allen Mean?
We would like to thank you for taking the right stand on the gaffe of Sen. George Allen ["George Allen's America," editorial, Aug. 15].

It is quite shocking for a person of Mr. Allen's caliber, who is running for a second Senate term and is a likely candidate for president in 2008, to point a finger at a young lad of 20, bullying our grandson, S.R. Sidarth, and calling him a derogatory and uncalled-for name. Sidarth was only videotaping the event.

In the 1930s Sidarth's great-grandfather accompanied Mohandas Gandhi to London as his secretary at the Round Table Conference on political reform in India. We come from a heritage of nationalists and seekers after truth. Hence these remarks hurt all the more, and we are personally affected by such an attack.



And check out this nice photo of mad Allen protestors: Allen’s gaffe shows politics to be Internet feeding ground. The dude on the right's name is Gogol Ganguli. Isn't that the name of the guy from Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake?


george allen denies racist remark

George Allen claims he wasn't singling out S. R. Sidarth, who is Indian American, when he referred to him as "Macaca": Senator Says He Meant No Insult by Remark.

Thank you, Senator, but I ain't buying it. When you say stuff like, "Welcome to America," you're stamping a big fat FOREIGNER label on the only non-white face in the audience. Sidarth, by the way, was born and raised in Virginia. More here: Senator denies remark was racist.

It really does speak to a common, ignorant, and narrow view of who and who is not an American. I have an extremely hard time believing Allen's insistence that his remarks were not racially motivated.

UPDATE: Senator Allen met today with members of the US Indian Political Action Committee over this whole incident: Allen meets with Indian PAC over remarks. Meanwhile, Sepia Mutiny has all sorts of good info: When in doubt, blame your staff. And of course, someone has created a line of macaca-centric clothing: The Macaca Shop


the meaning of macaca

What the hell does "macaca" mean? George Allen, Republican Senator from Virginia, used the nonsensical term in reference to one of his opponent's volunteers, who is of Indian descent.

S.R. Sidarth, a staffer for Democrat James Webb's Senate campaign, was singled out during a speech last week by Allen, who called him a word that sounded like "macaca": Sen. Allen's Remarks Spark Ire
"This fellow here over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great. We're going to places all over Virginia, and he's having it on film and its great to have you here and you show it to your opponent because he's never been there and probably will never come."

After telling the crowd that Webb was raising money in California with a "bunch of Hollywood movie moguls," Allen again referenced Sidarth, who was born and raised in Fairfax County.

"Lets give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia," said Allen, who then began talking about the "war on terror."
Allen's campaign tried to offer a plausible, excusable explanation of his remarks:
[Allen campaign manager Dick] Wadhams said Allen campaign staffers had begun calling Sidarth "mohawk" because of a haircut Wadhams said the Webb staffer has. "Macaca was just a variation of that," Wadhams said.
Nice try. Funny. But that's a big, brown, stretchy load of crap. I find it funny that they bothered even trying to come up with an explanation at all. The article needlessly goes on to speculate what the hell "macaca" really could mean, if anything at all:
Depending on how you spell it, the name Allen gave Sidarth means different things.

If spelled M-a-c-a-c-a, the term refers to a species of monkeys in the Eastern Hemisphere. "Is he saying Sidarth is a monkey?" Todd asked.

The word M-a-k-a-k-a refers to a town in South Africa.
It's obvious Allen was just mocking and picking up on Sidarth's Indian-ness, singling out the only non-white face in the crowd. "Welcome to America," my ass. Sidarth was born and raised in the United States. Hell of a coincidence he should make reference to the "War on Terror" just moments after.

We're talking about George Allen, a man who wore a Confederate flag pin for his high school senior class photo, and reportedly flew the damn flag on his car... while living in Southern California. This man is the devil. God forbid he should make a run for President. There's a clip of his speech over at YouTube. That's racist!

UPDATE: According to some comments on Daily Kos, "macaca" is apparently a derogatory term used in Tunisia in reference to blacks and dark-skinned people. It so happens that Allen's mother is from French Tunisia. Coincidence? It's a little too shady to discount.

A little more digging reveals some really ugly uses of variations of "macaque," culled from white supremacist sites: 'Macaca' or 'Macaque'. Like I said, it's pretty ugly. But it's evident that the term is a commonly used racial slur on par with the "n-word" in the United States.

Allen has since offered his weak little apology, claiming the word had no derogatory meaning for him: Senator says he's sorry for "macaca" comment

If you feel like saying a few words of your own to Sen. Allen and his people, here is some information that you might find useful:

Post Office Box 6859
Arlington, VA 22206
Phone: 703-845-3689
Fax: 703-845-7519

There's also an email form on the Senator's website. Do what you feel is necessary. Personally, I'd like to see a large group of folks show up at Allen's next gathering wearing yellow shirts that say "macaca, or whatever your name is."

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