Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Don't Step in the Macaca!

Ahh, no one else ventured a guess?  Well, Chuck IS a winner!   He got 2 out of 3, and, as we all know, let's all say it now, "Two out of Three Ain't Bad."   :)

It's really #'s 3, 7, and 8, or so I read in The Washington Post.... I like the macaw and the dancing idea, though.

Let's backtrack, shall we?  Last Friday.....   southwestern Virginia, near the Kentucky border, a town called Breaks.   Senator George Allen is holding a campaign rally.   Everyone there is caucasian, except for a "tracker" on the staff of James Webb, Allen's political opponent.   This tracker is a 20-year old senior at University of Virginia, born in Fairfax County, Virginia, of Indian heritage.   (Trackers apparently follow around politicians during their campaign stops and film the politician.)   Senator Allen's staff reportedly has nicknamed S. R. Sidarth "mohawk" because of his haircut (which Sidarth claims is a mullet).

According to The Washington Post (specific article written by Tim Craig and Michael D. Shear), and I'm hearing it elsewhere, "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."

Senator George Allen's staff first declined a need for an apology, but since then I've seen a few articles on this.......   "Asked what macaca means, Allen said: "I don't know what it means."  He said the word sounds similar to "mohawk."  Could this mean that Allen's staff really refers to Sidarth as macaca, and not as mohawk???   Just speculation, but possibly plausible.....

Sidarth is quoted as saying," 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."  "I was annoyed (disgusted) he would use my race in a political context."

The editorial page of The Washington Post concludes their editorial with: "We don't blame him [Sidarth] for feeling that way.  But, really, by mocking Mr. Sidarth, Senator George F. Allen demeaned only himself."

I have to agree.

An article today, same writers as yesterdays article (the editorial didn't list an author), talks more about Allen's intents, from supporters and those who are not fond of him.   Sounds as if some feel these remarks won't really hurt him in his Senatorial race, but could for his hopeful Presidential campaign for 2008.   "Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review, wrote on the magazine's Web site Tuesday that he did not think Allen was "trying to speak a coded racist language,"  But Lowry said Allen showed he "has a mean streak."

An intentional racial slur, or "just" a dig on an opponents staff?   I think that throwing in the comment "welcome to America" shows that Senator Allen's intent was a racial putdown.  I would feel slighted hearing it like that.   Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine is even quoted, that campaigns are tough, but you don't go singling out the trackers, that the comments by Senator Allen were "insensitive."  

I don't even live in Virginia, but I also think that Allen's comments were STUPID!  Heck, Allen knew he was being filmed, he knew he was leading a political rally, and the comments were stupid, anyway, so what was he thinking?   Show some class.   And, at least know the meaning for the name one calls someone, especially so publically. ________________________________________

Hair update:   The photo I saw of S. R. Sidarth yesterday was a front-view.   It didn't really APPEAR to be a mullet to me, but I didn't know how the back of his hair was, perhaps in a pony tail, I couldn't tell.   It did NOT look like a mohawk.   Today's (8/17) Style Section of The Washington Post explains it -- via Libby Copeland's article -- with the classic mullet example being Billy Ray Cyrus, who, I admit, wears it better than anyone else I've seen:) and the "purebred" mohawk being the classic head completely shaved except for a row of hair going down the middle of the head like a part, except spiked up into different points like the points of the sun surrounding, well, the sun.   Then there's a photo of the side of S. R. Sidarth's "moo'lette."   "For his part, Sidarth says he discovered his inspiration during a semester in Spain, where people pronounced the look "moo-LETTE."  "It's very popular in Spain," he says."

So, now we have it:)

Also listened to a bit of a George Stephanapolous (sp) interview this a.m.  George mentioned this being the top internet-searched story this week (or, political story??), and that he also believes this won't effect Senator Allen's current Senatorial race, but could have serious consequences in his hopes for a Presidential run in 2008.  

And, admitted, he wasn't aware of the word macaca previous to this story, either:)   So, it's summertime, all, but we still have a word for the week.

No comments:

Post a Comment