Monkey business

Was a GOP's crack at an opponent's staffer racist? Watch and decide.


Kl
August 15, 2006 1:27AM (UTC)

This is the much-discussed clip of Sen. George Allen, R-Va., referring to a staffer of his opponent as "Macaca" and offering him a hardy "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." The staffer, who videotapes Allen on behalf of the Democratic challenger, Jim Webb, is a native Virginian named S.R. Sidarth, who is of Indian descent. Allen's campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, claimed Allen called Sidarth "Macaca" because Allen's staff refers to him as "Mohawk," after the hairstyle Sidarth sports -- "Macaca was just a variation of that," Wadhams said. Mmm-hmm. The Washington Post also notes that Macaca "refers to a species of monkeys in the Eastern Hemisphere."

"I think he was doing it because he could and I was the person of color there and it was useful for him in inciting his audience," Sidarth told the Post. "I was annoyed he would use my race in a political context."

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