Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006


One imagines that George Allen longs for the days when people thought macaca was just Latin for the macaque genus of monkeys and he still had a shot at, gulp, the White House. But in August, the campaigning Virginia senator used the phrase twice while pointing to S.R. Sidarth, a young man of Indian descent who was working for Allen's opponent Jim Webb. Allen claimed he made it up, not knowing that it was an offensive slur used by colonial whites in Africa...except that his mother happens to be of French-Tunisian descent. Virginia voters expressed their own phrase for Allen: buh-bye.