Angry Asian Man on Tuesday, Jun. 7th
“Macaca.” The word that toppled a senator. In 2006, Republican Senator George Allen of Virginia used the slur to refer to S.R. Sidarth, an Indian American volunteer working on his opponent’s campaign. The whole thing was caught on tape, and it was that one word that arguably cost Allen the race. Well, the incredibly condescending “Welcome to America” probably didn’t help either.
Well, George Allen is back, and now running to replace Jim Webb — who is retiring — and get his old job back. Last week, the former senator publicly apologized for the “macaca” incident at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington, D.C.:
“During our last campaign, I never should have singled out that young man working for my opponent calling him a name,” said Allen, who’s running again for the seat he lost in 2006. “He was just doing his job.”
The incident became national news and arguably derailed Allen’s run for another term in the Senate against challenger Jim Webb. Now, as he gears up his 2012 campaign, Allen is speaking about the incident with a sense of contrition that was absent from his 2006 bid.
“I was wrong to do that to him,” Allen said of the macaca moment, “and it diverted our campaign away from the real issues that families care about.”
Allen said his personal life suffered after the macaca incident, just as his professional life did.
“Speaking of families, my family had to endure a lot of taunts and insults because of my mistake,” he said. “And I never want to have them go through something like that again.”
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