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Thursday, August 17, 2006 

Sen. George Allen May Not be Racist, but He Sure Is Eating His Shoe

So, speaking into the camera of his political opponent’s operative at a fund raiser speech, Sen. George Allen says some stuff that folks in the political arena call a “gaffe”.

(CNN) "This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is," said Allen, who at times pointed directly at the camera. "He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great."

addressing Sidarth (the camera man).

"Let's give a welcome to Macaca, here," Allen said. "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia."

Problem is, Macaca is a reference to a monkey (whoops), and Sidarth is a second generation American of Indian decent, hence needs no introduction to America (double woops!).

While I’m not sure I’m buying the line that Allen’s handlers are peddling for the Macaca remark (he didn't know what it meant), I’m definitely not buying the bit that he meant: “Welcome to the real America because Webb hasn’t visited many places”.

So far Senetor Allen has indirectly apologized about the comments, or rather the “misinterpretation” of his comments, he still hasn’t told Sidarth directly that he’s sorry. I’m not holding my breath though.

Here’s the real rub for me: If Senator Allen has aspirations for potential GOP candidacy in ’08, he’s got to be 100% sure that people don’t perceive him as potentially racist in any way. This whole episode reminds me of something from “Blazing Saddles” where the sheriff walks into the Governors office…

If you’ve never seen the movie, think a bunch of white guys trying their best to not show the new black sheriff that they’re not comfortable with a man of “color” with a badge, yet tripping all over themselves as they pull off foot-in-mouth maneuvers left and right.