Monday, August 14, 2006

Confederate George's Macaca Problem

For most of the two years that that C and I lived in Virginia, George Allen, aka Confederate George, the current junior Senator from that state, was the governor. I said, based on his TV appearances when he was running, that he was a racist mess, and supported his opponent, Mary Sue Terry, a lackluster, centrist-right Democrat. Allen went on to confirm some of my worst presuppositions by proclaiming April Confederate History and Appreciation Day ( which was later rescinded by his Republican successor) and describing the Civil War as a "a four-year struggle for independence and sovereign rights." Well, yes, independence and sovereign rights to be a slaveholding power. Allen, a native of California and the son of the former star football coach of the same name, also provoked Virginia's African-American population by championing the Confederate flag and hanging a noose from a tree in his office. A real charmer. Naturally, he was elevated from the governorship to the Senate in 2000 when he ran to the right and defeated Marine veteran and Lyndon Johnson son-in-law Chuck Robb (who was facing some scandal allegations of his own and had basically been Republican-lite except on social issues).

Allen unfortunately isn't happy playing at representing the good people of Virginia (he's so much as said so), and would like to be president. But he's in a race against another military veteran, former Reagan Navy Secretary-turned Democrat, James H. Webb, to keep his current seat warm for a few years. According to Raw Story, yesterday, being the George Allen he's always been (he was suspended for alleged racist graffiti in high school, and his younger sister has accused him in print of sadistic behavior towards his siblings), he repeatedly called S. R. Sidarth, a 20-year-old student campaign volunteer for Jim Webb "Macaca...or whatever his name is." Sidarth is of Indian descent. Macaca is the generic name for a wide range of African monkeys, as in macaques. One of the best known is the macaca mulatta, the rhesus monkey. "Makkak" and variations are also a known slur against dark-skinned North Africans. (Allen's mother reported was born in North Africa.) In addition, he even had the presence of mind to welcome the young man, a US citizen born in Virginia and UVa student, "to America." Allen has said he was referring to Sidarth's "mohawk," only Sidarth doesn't wear a mohawk. Allen's campaign manager initially said the Confederate-flag loving senator had nothing to apologize for. (He eventually did.) Sidarth, for his part, believes he was singled out because he was the only person of color at the campaign event in Breaks, near the Kentucky border. "Macaca" is a bit more clever than the "N" word, so I guess Allen may be more clever than I give him credit for; maybe he's playacting when he sounds so much like a tranquilized version of Barney, and maybe he was reading a medical text before the event. He did supposedly want to be a dentist at one point. UVa political science professor and Larry Sabato thinks the slur will hurt Allen's presidential chances. Oh well, goodbye to all that....

Do the right thing if you can afford to: support Jim Webb.


  1. John, Thank you for breaking down that "Macaca" reference to the nth degree (all the way to where the boy's mama was born). Damn! You. Do. Not. Play. I love this blog!

  2. Very Goog J - You gave in depth insight as the TV news only scaped the surface. Keep up the good work! I enjoy reading your Blog. - FH

  3. Thanks for the Guenter Grass madness. It is a real shame though. The people that really perpetuated the crimes are dead, the only ones around now are the very young recruits and they are getting all the hell, when their choices and environment were so limited. What choices would you have made at 15, 16, or 17? I don't think we can really appreciate the horror children and teenagers faced. I heard many stories.

    Part of me feels that this is a wasted arguement, it is impossible for so many people to die without the complete mobilization of a population, so why are people so shocked that he admitted his true relationship to the Nazi war machine. It is like all the denial of white folk and slaveowner ancestors, or black half-kin across town. Get a grip! You can't move millions of Africans with 17th century techonology across the Atlantic without populations being mobilized to do it! WWII and Germany, the same.

    The other part feels like his whole life will be re-examined, and Germans will start to turn over the emotional boulders that dem bitches nurse with a deligence that is shocking -- they feel responsible and depressed about a past they never mention in detail. I should say, those that were born after the slaughter feel responsible, but it is different than American white guilt. They are dealing with a moment in time, not a generational system of privilege . . . funny enough, they don't feel guilty about the anti-semetic laws that were enforced even during the time of Maria Theresa.

    There is more to disucss. We have to hook up now that I am in the area.

    Thanks for the heads up. Am reading all of your Grass links TONIGHT!