Off-hand remark by senator causes flap

Discussion in 'Politics and Religion' started by Lou Grant, Aug 15, 2006.

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  1. Lou Grant

    Lou Grant

    RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) -- A volunteer of Indian descent working for Democrat Jim Webb's U.S. Senate campaign said Monday he felt insulted when Sen. George Allen called him a name that sounded like "Macaca" during a rally in western Virginia.

    S.R. Sidarth, 20, spent last week following Allen's "listening tour" and filming the appearances for the Webb campaign, which distributed a video clip of Friday's appearance to reporters.

    "This fellow over here with the yellow shirt -- Macaca or whatever his name is -- he's with my opponent," Allen said. "He's following us around everywhere."

    Macaca is a term associated with a species of monkeys.

    "This is not something we knew," said Allen campaign spokesman Dick Wadhams.

    The name also could be spelled Makaka, which is a city in South Africa.

    Wadhams said, however, that the name was a variation of "Mohawk," the nickname he said Allen campaign staffers gave Sidarth because he had a Mohawk haircut.

    Whether the University of Virginia senior's haircut -- closely cropped around the temples and above the ears, but otherwise full -- qualifies as a Mohawk is open to interpretation. Sidarth said he does not consider it a Mohawk.

    "It's grasping -- it's reaching," Webb spokeswoman Kristian Denny Todd said of Wadhams' explanation. "This was a term meant to demean Sidarth and his presence there at the event."


    Anyone think he will get the Trent Lott treatment?