Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What are you in the eyes of US senators?

US Senator George Allen (R-Virginia) referred to an Asian cameraman as a 'macaca' in a bid to appeal to his Caucasian supporters at a campaign event, as shown in this YouTube video. Pointing at Mr. S. R. Sidarth, the only colored people among 100 some Caucasian supporters, Senator Allen was heard saying: "Let's give a welcome to Macaca here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." George Allen is a GOP front-runner among 2008 presidential candidates.

Macaca is a kind of monkey mainly found in Asia. Mr. Sidarth, the cameraman was the only color people in the gathering. Being an Indian descent, he was actually born and raised in the Fairfax county, Virginia, USA. "I think he was doing it because he could and I was the only person of colour there and it was useful for him in inciting his audience," Sidarth told the Washington Post. "I was annoyed he would use my race in a political context."

Thanks to the popularity of YouTube video sharing, this has been all over the news: Google News.

While Democrats and Independents found the remarks made by Senator Allen carried racism undertone, conservative Republicans felt it stupid or in the least insensitive. Facing mounting pressure, Senator Allen said he was sorry if Sidarth was offended, but he did not regret of making the comment.

Senator Allen scheduled a campaign appearance on Wednesday afternoon with another Republican senator John McCain (R-Arizona), who refreshed American's memory with the racial slur of 'gook' when he was running for GOP's nomination for the president candidate in the year 2000. Senator McCain apologized later.

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