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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