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George Allen, Republican Senator from Virginia - I'm Macaca, you're Macaca, he's Macaca, she's Macaca, wouldn't you like

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(My apologies to the Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Company and whoever developed that jingle.)

Is there anyone who believes that Senator George Allen didn't know exactly what he was saying when he pointed at a person of color and called him a slur designed for a person of color? Said slur was endemic to the white colonialists from a region of Africa that Senator Allen's mother lived in for a considerable period of time. From an article by Subodh Chandra, "Welcome to America, Senator!" -

"Macaca is both a genus of monkey and a common European slur used against dark-skinned people of North Africa. Most media reported various contradictory explanations by Allen and his staff claiming the term was connected to Sidarth's haircut. They reported Allen's assertion that he made up the term, and his denial that he knew what it meant. Some media outlets reminded everyone of Allen's Confederacy fetish and dubious history on race relations. Few media, however, reported that Allen's mother was a French colonial immigrant from Tunisia, that Allen himself speaks French fluently, and that the term [SL Note: and slur] macaca would have been common among French-Tunisians."

Hakuna Macaca
(My apologies to the Lion King folks and anyone who speaks Swahili)

As big as the scandal was regarding 'Macaca' it was not or has not been nearly as large as it should have been. Here we have a leader of our nation singling out someone for ridicule because of his race in front of a crowd of people. It isn't as if anyone in this country needs reminding that we have had problems treating people of color decently and with respect. If any white person in corporate America pointed to a person of color and called him or her Macaca they would be fired and the company possibly sued.

If a white person assaulted a person of color and during the assault shouted the word "Macaca" at the person of color, it would be called a hate crime and the perpetrator would face more charges and significantly more jail time than if he had not shouted Macaca at the person and just assaulted them.

How is it possible that a member of the Senate, the upper house of congress, can do the same and escape serious consequences? At the very least, Allen should be brought to the floor of the senate and censured by his colleagues. The Republican senatorial leadership should do their best to harangue him until he resigns. Why won't they do it? Because, just as with the Foley matter, Republicans care more about holding onto seats than doing what is right. I only hope the current trend in the polls means the American people will hold Allen and the rest of the Republican Congressional Caucus accountable.


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A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)
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