George Allen can't help himself | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

George Allen can't help himself

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2006 at 1:15 PM

With potential primary opponents like U.S. Sen. George Allen, Gov. Mike Huckabee might have a good shot at the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

At a campaign rally in southwest Virginia on Friday, Allen repeatedly called a volunteer for Democrat James Webb "macaca." During the speech in Breaks, near the Kentucky border, Allen began by saying that he was "going to run this campaign on positive, constructive ideas" and then pointed at S.R. Sidarth in the crowd.

"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," Allen said, as his supporters began to laugh. After saying that Webb was raising money in California with a "bunch of Hollywood movie moguls," Allen said, "Let's give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." Allen then began talking about the "war on terror."

Depending on how it is spelled, the word macaca could mean either a monkey that inhabits the Eastern Hemisphere or a town in South Africa. In some European cultures, macaca is also considered a racial slur against African immigrants, according to several Web sites that track ethnic slurs. ...

Sidarth ... said he suspects Allen singled him out because his was the only nonwhite face among about 100 Republican supporters.

"I think he was doing it because he could, and I was the only person of color there, and it was useful for him in inciting his audience," said Sidarth, who videotaped the event for the Webb campaign. "I was annoyed he would use my race in a political context."

This isn't exactly out of character for Allen. The May 8 edition of the New Republic magazine carried a cover story headlined "George Allen's Race Problem."

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