George Allen: His racism and bigotry finally caught up with him.
(Cliff Owen/AP)

Chicken-fried racism

Hypocrisy is a given with most politicians but few practice it as blatantly as Virginia Sen. George Allen, who embraces Southern racism as though it were a birthright.

That hypocrisy shone brightly recently when Allen insulted a native-born Virginian of Indian descent by calling him “macaca” at a campaign rally. ”

“This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent,” Allen said, referring to S.R. Sidarth, a campaign worker for Democratic challenger Jim Web. “Let’s give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.”

“Macaca” is a slang racial slur used to insult people of color. It can mean “monkey” or, in worse cases, “shithead.”

Sidarth should have been “welcoming” Allen to Virginia. He was born in the Old Dominion.

Allen was born in Los Angeles. Yet Allen likes to wrap himself up as a “Virginian,” one from a part of the past that best left forgotten. A Confederate battle flag flies in the Senator’s office.

Some years ago, while still living in Northern Virginia, I went to a cookout in McLean sponsored by Virginia Republicans. A group of “good old boys” stood by the beer table, laughing their butts off at an unending string of racist jokes told by one of their group – then political wannabe George Allen.

Allen represents a side of Virginia politics that is best forgotten and there are still too many chicken-fried racists like him holding down positions of power in our midst. Like Morgan Griffith of Salem, the Majority Leader of the House of Delegates.

Griffith jumped to Allen’s defense when the Senator committed his racist gaffe, telling The Washington Post that “not many people in southwest Virginia would think (Allen calling Sidarth ‘macaca’) is derogatory. I didn’t have a clue what it meant, and I doubt Allen did, either.”

Speak for yourself, Morgan. Your comments might play well at the Klan rallies at Burnt Chimney down in Franklin County but those gatherings, like you, do not represent the majority of modern Virginians.

You may be a dumbass Southern bigot but don’t try to wrap the rest of us up into your mantle of good-old-boy racism. I’m one Southwestern Virginian who knows exactly what “macaca” means and I think any elected official who uses such a word to describe a Virginian should be voted out of office.

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