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LOCAL News :: Civil & Human Rights

Put a stop to Virginia's persistent racism. It's time for Sen. Allen to go.

Senator George Allen should be punished for his racist remarks. All Virginians should be ashamed that we have let a bigoted man like Allen represent us as Governor, or in the US Senate. Take action to have George Allen punished (courtesy of ColorofChange.org).

No politician should think it's okay to single someone out based on
their skin color, to assume they're not "American" because of their
ethnicity, or to call them "monkey" or a French equivalent of
"nigger."[1] Any politician that does shouldn't be in the US Senate--or
have any place in American politics. Senator George Allen has done all
these things, and he should step down now. Please join us in calling
on the Republican National Committee to withdraw its support for his


Last Friday at a campaign event, Sen. Allen singled out the only
non-white person in the audience, a staffer from his opponent's
campaign, and called him "macaque," twice.[2] Macaque (phonetically
spelled "macaca") means monkey in French and is used as racist slur
in Europe and by white supremacists in the US. Allen then said
that he wanted to "Welcome [him] to America," as if he were a visitor
to this country. The young man, S.R. Sidarth, is as American as any
of us--he was born and raised in Virginia. You can see the video here:

Sen. Allen's campaign has claimed that "macaque" was just a variation
on "mohawk," which Allen's campaign staffers had taken to calling
Sidarth in reference to his haircut. It's hard to see how you get from
"mohawk" to "macaque." And it's highly doubtful that Senator Allen
was unaware that "macaque" is a deeply offensive racial
epithet--Senator Allen speaks French, and his mother is from Tunisia,
a country where the term is used as a slur.[3][4]

Most of us don't know this, but Sen. Allen has a uniquely disturbing
history when it comes to race. Although he grew up in California,
early on he seemed to adopt the racist ideology that represents the
worst of the South's legacy.[5] As a high school student in Southern
California, he had an obsession with the confederate flag--applying it
on his person, car, and around school. As an adult in Virginia, he
hung the confederate flag prominently in his house. As governor of
Virginia, he issued a proclamation romanticizing the South's position
in the civil war as "a struggle for independence and sovereign
rights." He had a noose on display in his law office – hanging from a
tree. As a state representative, he opposed the creation of a holiday
commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. And he has called the NAACP an
extremist organization.[6]

Allen's remarks to Sidarth arise from the same kind of worldview that
causes some people to say "go back to Africa" – the idea that this is
white people's territory. Had Allen called an African-American
"monkey," "darkey," or told the person to "go back to Africa," his
political career would be over. It should be no different when the
attack is directed at someone of Indian descent. Whether to please a
white audience, or as a reflection of Allen's worldview, Allen's
behavior has no place American politics. Join us in calling on the RNC
to withdraw its support for Allen, and to find a candidate who
actually espouses American values:


Thank You and Peace,

-- James, Van, Clarissa, Gabriel, and the rest of the
ColorOfChange.org team
August 17th, 2006


1. "'Macaca' or ‘Macaque'," Jefferey Feldman at MyDD, Monday, August 14, 2006

2. "Allen Quip Provokes Outrage, Apology," Washington Post, Tuesday,
August 15, 2006

3. "MACAQUE," The New Republic, Ryan Lizza, August 14, 2006

4. "George Allen speaks French and knows Macaque," Bidabunch at
DailyKos, Monday, August 14, 2006

5. "George Allen's Race Problem," The New Republic, Ryan Lizza, April 27, 2006

6. "George Allen's ugly history on racial issues," Brendan Nyhan, May
15, 2005

7. "Senator Allen's Statement on Macaca," Hotline On Call, August 15,

8. "George Allen's America," Washington Post, Tuesday, August 15,


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