At a campaign rally in his bid for re-election as Senator from Virginia, George Allen pointed to a supporter of his opponent in his audience and said:
“This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent.”
Later on he said:
“Let’s give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.”
The word macaca has multiple meanings, none of them particularly positive when applied to a person who appears to be of African or Indian descent. And for the record, that person’s name is S.R. Sidarth and he was born in Virginia. (Allen himself was born in California. It appears the wrong person was doing the welcoming to Virginia, but how was Allen to know that that not every native Virginia looks alike?) Allen is of course scrambling to to prove that he didn’t mean it as a racist epithet and that he is in no way a racist.
Just like there is no racist connotation whatever to displaying the confederate flag inside your home. While you are the governor of one of the major secessionist, slave-holding states.
Just like there is nothing racist at in opposing the creation of a single day holiday to commemmorate civil rights leader Martin Luther King, but as Governor you proclaim an entire “Confederate Heritage and History Month” in which you issue a proclamation declaring the Civil War to be a struggle for independence (from the same America you now want urgently want to be President of) and sovereign rights. By the way, in case you’re wondering, that same proclamation contained absolutely no condemnation of the key economic right that the south fought for: the right to own human beings.
And surely there was no racial connotation at all in displaying a noose hanging from a tree in his law offices. Obviously, the noose was merely meant to represent legal justice. After all, isn’t hanging the accepted method of execution in Virginia? It’s not? It was the primary method of lynching black people, you say? Hmm, must be one of those bizarre coincidences.
Now there are unsubtantiated rumors that as a high school kid in California, George Allen tooled around in a car covered in confederate flag bumpers stickers and that he once painted anti-white graffiti on the walls of the school in order to make it look like some black kids had done it and brew up some good old-fashioned racial hatred. But those are just rumors and it would be below me to engage in something like spreading rumors. That’s more the kind of thing that a Karl Rove would do. No, wait a minute, that’s not quite right. Karl Rove spreads rumors that he himself creates out of thin air.
Is Sen. George Allen a racist? I’m certainly not in a position to say so, since I don’t know the man. But if Dick Cheney can decide that Ned Lamont is a supporter of Al-Qaeda simply on the basis of running against Joe Lieberman, then I guess we certainly have more than enough evidence here to suggest that perhaps George Allen might not be the single most qualified person in all of Virginia to serve as one of their two Senators.