August 15, 2006

Macaca Man

Here you can see Viriginia Sen. George Allen calling a campaign operative of his opponent a "macaca." I believe she is of East Indian descent.

No one is quite cetain what a "macaca" is, but the conventional wisdom is that it's not meant to be flattering.

In Portuguese, a "macaco" is a monkey, and "macaca" is a female monkey. The term is used in a racially pejorative way: a "macaca de auditório," for example, is a woman, most probably dark-skinned, who jumps up and down and screams in the audience of a TV variety show. I doubt Sen. Allen knows Portuguese, but that's the best explanation I can come up with for what he meant.

I don't know much about Sen. Allen, but what I've seen doesn't impress me. You don't need to be an intellectual to be President; in fact, it may hurt, but you need to be astute enough to keep your foot out of your mouth when it comes to matters racial. India's coming up in the world, and is a potential partner in various enterprises, if not an ally. Sticking a finger in its eye not only isnt nice, it ain't smart.

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