A lot of people are writing about this Washington Post story and I think there’s a good conversation in the comments here. I am willing to bet that Sen. George Allen never thought that anyone would understand his own inside joke. He probably didn’t even think his apparently all white audience would get his “Macaca” reference. I love that he talks straight into the camera right at Siddarth, an American citizen born and raised in Virginia. I think the “Macaca” = “Macaque” assessment especially given Allen’s Francophone heritage from his mother is probably spot on. Having been called many different variations of higher primate as a kid, I’ve seen his type before. Guys like him have learned to be smooth and politically correct, saying all the approved phrases like “diversity” and “equal opportunity” while really secretly thinking: “Why is this raghead allowed to follow me around with a camera? Isn’t this what homeland security is supposed to take care of???”

I think it’s less the “Macaca” jab than the “Welcome to America” language — that he repeats for effect just before he segues into a discussion about “the war on terrorism”. The all-white crowd presumably was supposed to get chills because an uninvited young man whom many of them might think look like the terrorists we’re “fighting over there so we don’t have to fight them over here” is present with a camera.

Allen misfired. That’s what happens when you pander to your audience. You never know who else might hear you out there among those crazy bloggers. So far it looks like most right wing bloggers are steering clear of the story — but strangely so are many African-American bloggers on the left and the right — despite the implications for all minority VA residents and anyone impacted by Allen’s votes in the Senate on issues important to minorities in the U.S.

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