Associated Press photo
Repugnican monkeyshines: Above is S.R. Sidarth, the Indian-American who in August 2006 captured Repugnican U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia on video calling him “Macaca,” which lost Allen his Senate re-election bid and effectively ended his political career. Today, Repugnican U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, who plans to run for a U.S. Senate seat for Missouri in 2010, apparently compared President Barack Obama to a “monkey” during a speech he gave at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. — the same gathering where last year boxes of “Obama Waffles” waffle mix were sold, replete with an Aunt-Jemima-like likeness of Obama.
In August 2006, then-U.S. Senator for Virginia George Allen, a Repugnican, of course, referred to a young American man of Indian descent as “Macaca.” In fact, Allen called the young man “Macaca” while the young man was video-recording one of Allen’s re-election campaign stump speeches. (Smart!)
Wikipedia recounts it this way:
On August 11, 2006, at a campaign stop in Breaks, Virginia, near the Kentucky border, Allen twice used the word “macaca” to refer to [Shekar Ramanuja] Sidarth, an Indian-American, who was filming the event as a “tracker” for the opposing [Democrat Jim Webb’s] campaign.
“Macaca” means “monkey” and is not a racial slur; it is generally used in Francophone African nations, which led to speculation that Allen may have heard the epithet from his mother, a Francophone who grew up in French-colonial Tunisia.
Allen apologized and later said that he did not know the meaning of the word. In 2008, The Washington Post speculated that, were it not for this single utterance, Allen would have been a strong candidate for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.
How calling someone with brown skin and who is a member of a race that historically has been shit and pissed upon by whitey a “monkey” is not racist escapes me. And why Allen would have used a term whose meaning he didn’t even know (but just happens to mean “monkey”) also escapes me.
Another Wikipedia entry states that the word “macaca” most definitely is a racial slur, and notes that this is what Allen said to Sidarth on that fateful August 2006 day: “This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt — Macaca, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent… Let’s give a welcome to Macaca here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.”
Never mind that Sidarth was born and raised in Virginia, while Allen was born and raised in California; Allen so warmly welcomed Sidarth to Virginia and to the United States nonetheless.
Welcoming an American-born-and-raised citizen to America because his or her skin is brown isn’t racist? Especially when you are a stupid white man doing the welcoming?
In any case, Allen lost the 2006 U.S. Senate election to Webb — “Allen’s re-election in the 2006 [Senate] race seemed inevitable until he was brought down by [the] video that showed him using a racial epithet when talking to [the] staffer for [Webb],” Wikipedia notes — and Allen has faded into political obscurity (where he belongs) since he called the young brown-skinned man “Macaca.”
So now, Salon.com’s War Room reports that today Repugnican U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, yet another stupid white man, told an interesting little tale at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C.:
…And then [Blunt] told a little story about a group of British soldiers who found themselves posted in a quiet part of India in the late 19th century or the early 20th century. It was, Blunt said, a “very lush, very quiet, very peaceful, very uneventful part of India.”
So the soldiers decided, without much better to do, that they’d build a golf course in the jungle. And then the story got weird. [Quoting Blunt:]
Almost from the day the first ball was hit on this golf course something happened they didn’t anticipate: monkeys would come running out of the jungle and then grab the golf balls. And if it was in the fairway, they might throw it in the rough. And if it was in the rough, they might throw it — they might throw it back at you!
And I can point to great and long detail about how many things they tried to eliminate the monkey problem, but they never got it done.
So finally for this golf course and this golf course only, they passed a rule and the rule was, you have to play the ball where the monkey throws it. And that is the rule in Washington all the time.
Yes, you read that right: the point of the story was that like British golfers, conservatives in Washington have to play the ball where the monkey throws it.
Adds the Salon.com writer:
Blunt, who’s running for [the U.S. Senate seat for] Missouri next year, didn’t explain precisely why he chose an analogy about monkeys to illustrate the difficulties posed by the party that opposes the country’s first black president. (They both like to screw up the white man’s golf game?)
You know, you don’t refer to a non-white person as a “monkey.” To call a non-white person a “monkey” is to dehumanize him or her, is to make him or her less than human, is to make him or her into an animal.
And then once you have dehumanized, animalized, him or her, you then can justify doing whatever you want to do to him or her, such as yelling “You lie!” during his or her nationally televised address to Congress — something that you’d never do to a white president.
These racists are putting their feelers out there, are testing the waters, are seeing how far they can go.
If we let their shit pass, if we let them get away with their blatantly racist bullshit, they will up the ante to the point where one of these white supremacists screaming “You lie!” at the president during a nationally televised address to Congress will be comparatively nothing.
Those of us Americans who don’t want the racist Repugnican Party to drag us even further back to the Dark Ages than the unelected Bush regime did during its eight long years of nightmarish unelected rule have a responsibility to confront racism every single fucking time one of these racist motherfuckers thinks that he or she can get away with it.
Even if it looks borderline, we have to confront it.
A Repugnican U.S. representative from South Carolina (the first state that seceded from the Union after Abraham Lincoln’s election) yelling “You lie!” at the nation’s first black president while being nationally televised: That is an act of racism.
Addison Graves (a.k.a. “Joe”) Wilson was not simply registering his differences of opinion with the Obama administration’s health-care reform ideas, as he and his ilk have since claimed. There is a time and a place for that, and it is not during the president’s nationally televised address to Congress.
Wilson’s intent, it seems to me, was to open the door for even further racist attacks upon the nation’s first black president.
George Allen didn’t call an Indian-American man “Macaca” — twice — and “macaca” just happens to mean “monkey.”
Roy Blunt didn’t tell a parable that ends with the moral that conservatives in Washington “have to play the ball where the monkey throws it” and not mean it as a reference to President Barack Obama.
“Conservative” these days pretty much means “white supremacist.”
We Americans who are not white supremacists, we Americans who form the majority who voted for Barack Obama, need to search our souls and ask ourselves if we are going to allow the white-supremacist minority to take over our nation.
P.S. Take a look at the official photos of George Allen, Addison Graves (a.k.a. “Joe”) Wilson and Roy Blunt (below, in that order):
What do they all have in common?
All three of them were born sometime from 1947 to 1952, making all three of them baby-boomer assholes, and they all are Repugnican politicians who hail from states that used to be slave states. (And, of course, they’re all stupid white men.)
Be on the lookout for men who match this profile. They’re probably motherfucking racists.