The fact that someone running for public officethe President of the United States, no lesswould unabashedly use this term, and then repeatedly refuse to apologize for it (he eventually did), is reasons enough for me to question his character. We as Asian Americans are no strangers to racial epithets being thrown our way, whether they're meant as "jokes" or meant to cause harm. Here, "gook" was clearly being used as expression of resentment. The fact that McCain was a P.O.W. does not excuse him from harboring these feelings. Why is this even under debate?
That said, I recently heard about a new book, Gook: John McCain's Racism and Why It Matters by Irwin Tang, described as "a political expose, a real-life mystery, and a manifesto on race and war, all in one volume." From the press release I received the other day:
The mystery is this: Is John McCain secretly a white supremacist? No American wants to believe it, but one cannot help asking this question after reading Gook.I haven't read the book yet, but it's just too intriguing not to mention here. Obviously, we're not talking about one of those fair-and-balanced examinations of a politician and his policies. Irwin is out for blood, and basically just wants everyone to know how evil he thinks McCain is. Hell, I don't even know if the book is any good. But I am no friend of John McCain. The book will be officially released next month, July 4, and available for pre-order online from The it Works Publishing/Paul Revere Books.
The racial slur "gook" has a secret history of its own, evolving from war to war, from the U.S. conquest of the Philippines to its occupation of Haiti, to North African colonial conflicts, to the Korean War. The epithet reached a crescendo during the Vietnam War and then infiltrated the common American vocabulary.
Asian American author Irwin A. Tang writes of his own frightening run-ins with the KKK as a child, but he pulls no punches in chronicling the disturbing history of John McCain's relationships with white supremacists and racist, warmongering preachers.
"John McCain supported the rescinding of Martin Luther King Day while sending his own money to terrorists in Nicaragua," said Tang. "That sums up the entire notion of the word 'gook.' Some people, whether they are black Americans or Asian or Latino peasants, are simply subhuman to the most powerful, most cynical politicians."
Gook examines McCain's partnering with leading white supremacist Richard Quinn, as well as McCain's endorsement of hate group lecturer George Wallace, Jr. for lieutenant governor, both actions fitting with his support for the Confederate flag as an official state symbol.