Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Surprise! George Allen is a Racist!

Former governor and current United States Senator George Allen (Senate Web site, Wikipedia entry) is the second senator from the South to say something blatantly racist in the past few years (the other being Trent Lott). From The Washington Post ("George Allen's America," August 15, 2006):
"MY FRIENDS, we're going to run this campaign on positive, constructive ideas," Sen. George F. Allen told a rally of Republican supporters in Southwest Virginia last week. "And it's important that we motivate and inspire people for something." Whereupon Mr. Allen turned his attention to a young campaign aide working for his Democratic opponent -- a University of Virginia student from Fairfax County who was apparently the only person of color present -- and proceeded to ridicule him.

Let's consider which positive, constructive or inspirational ideas Mr. Allen had in mind when he chose to mock S.R. Sidarth of Dunn Loring, who was recording the event with a video camera on behalf of James Webb, the Democratic nominee for the Senate seat Mr. Allen holds. The idea that holding up minorities to public scorn in front of an all-white crowd will elicit chortles and guffaws? (It did.) The idea that a candidate for public office can say "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia!" to an American of Indian descent and really mean nothing offensive by it? (So insisted Mr. Allen's aides.) Or perhaps the idea that bullying your opponents and calling them strange names -- Mr. Allen twice referred to Mr. Sidarth as "Macaca" -- is within the bounds of decency on the campaign trail?
The New York Times also published an editorial criticizing Allen ("A Discourging Word," August 16, 2006).

The U.S. needs to get it straight: stop voting for Republicans. Even if you vote for a so-called "moderate" Republican (as if such a thing still exists), you're still empowering fools like Allen and Lott.

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