Monday, August 14, 2006

Democrats Attack Allen's Mother

In the "so-called" Allen scandal, there is one thing that has received little attention, but deserves much more focus.

In order to "prove" that Allen would know an obscure reference to the proper name of a type of primate, AND know that the reference was also used as a derogatory term for blacks, the Webb supporters have trotted out the fact that Allen's mother is part Tunisian, and the phrase he used has been cited in french-tunisian lingo as a slur.

So apparently Allen, who was born in the U.S.A, heard this word growing up as a racial epithet, because his mother would have known it being from Tunisia.

In other words, the Webb camp is saying that Allen's mother is a racist who taught her child how to insult blacks using foreign words, I guess using them around the house all the time.

So, where is their evidence that Allen's mother was a racist? Are you kidding? Democrats don't need evidence when they have a good conspiracy theory.

For all we know, the guy could have told a staffer his name was macaca, in order to get Allen to use the word -- after all, the Webb camp seemed to know right away that the word was vaguely like a racist epithet in another language, something 99.9% of us were clueless about until the democrats were kind enough to let us know.

So, is it OK to call a candidate's mother a racist, just to try to score political points? Should we be attacking the candidate's family? Apparently that's OK by the Webb folks.

30 comments:

AWCheney said...

Very astute Charles, and you're probably right on the mark. Afterall, George Allen DID refer to the "word" in question as the young man's name. It's far more likely that he had NEVER heard that word from his Tunisian mother and was unaware of its meaning. My own mother was German and, though I spoke German fluently thanks to her, I never learned any epithets in German at all. I heard plenty of them in English when I started school, however.

Anonymous said...

Utter nonsense, in my view. I believe that George Allen is a big boy and can come up with racial epithets on his own.

Kenton said...

Oh, that was me. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Allen made a R-A-C-I-S-T comment. I see this blog wants to support the racist factions of the Republican Party. I hear that the Allen campaign is having a cross burning next week in Fairfax, your invited!!!

willis said...

Isn't George Allen evidence enough??

NoVA Scout said...

Charles: I haven't found any site that calls Mrs. Allen (the mother) a racist. You're stretching.

Anke makes a very good point that some of us who speak other languages know well. You can learn a language very thoroughly and have little idea of its cruder, slangier elements, especially with regard to racial slurs. I've never thought of George Allen as a franco-vernacular linguist type. (I think he has definitely and successfully taken the edge off his English proficiency for political purposes, but I doubt that he has a smooth command of la belle langue. I suspect he was playing at a lower, but more benign academic/linguistic level, and was trying to hang a name on the guy that sounded alien. I don't really approve of that, but there's a world of moral/ethical difference between having a racist heart and using a stupid term to try to disparage or make fun of someone. I'm inclined to put this in the stupid column, but I don't see the racism.

Charles said...

In at least one of the threads over at NLS, it was claimed that Allen would have learned this word from his mother.

After several people including me pointed out the implication of that statement, others said that he could have learned it from "visits to the mother country", even though there is no evidence provided that Allen ever travelled to tunisia (maybe he did, but no evidence is provided).

They therefore still claim he learned it from hearing the language -- and therefore from people using racist language, meaning that his mother would have hung out with people who spoke racist language, AND would have explained to Allen what the foreign words meant.

Then, having learned this foreign slur from his mother, Allen kept it hidden all these years, just so he could bring it out to put it ON VIDEOTAPE for his opponent in a Senate election.

But you can't get around the simple fact that, in order for Allen to have picked up this word because his "mother is tunisian", his mother must have somehow taught him the word and it's meaning, or hung around people who would have done the same.

I don't think they really wanted to call her a racist, they simply wanted to call Allen a racist, and had no problem using his mother as the conduit for that racism.

When called on it, most backed down, while others started providing anecdotes of his mother being snippy with people.

Charles said...

BTW, in case people miss it, in the Washington Post story on this in tomorrow's paper, Allen apologizes for using this word, and explains that he didn't know it had any meaning, much less an offensive meaning (which it doesn't, but I don't fault him for accepting the premise even though he didn't actually say the word in question).

I'm glad he apologized because I think that even when you inadvertently offend someone, and even when that person was just looking for offense, it's still classy to apologize.

It was always clear from the video that Allen meant no ill will to the guy with the video camera, and was using him as a prop to chide Webb for being out of touch with america and virginia.

Allen wasn't eloquent in his attempt, calling Webb Sidarth's opponent instead of his own opponent for example, but the meaning was clear even watching the edited democrat tape.

AWCheney said...

Well, I'm a big girl Kenton, and I still don't know any epithets in German, racial or otherwise...and I can still speak German.

The point here is, there's a great deal of speculation as to why he used that word specifically as the young man's name (note the video). It's not impossible that, as Charles pointed out, Allen was set up by being told that it was indeed the young man's name. It's no less feasible, perhaps more, than the assumption that George Allen knowingly made a racial remark while being video taped by the opposition. Personally, I'd like to think that I would give even a Democrat that benefit of the doubt. I'd like to hear his explanation before jumping to any conclusions.

AWCheney said...

Sorry Charles...I posted before reading your last comment. I haven't seen tomorrow's paper, as yet. I will be curious to read his (Allen's) full explanation.

Charles said...

The online version didn't have much of an explanation -- just that he had no idea there was any bad connotation to the word, and that his use came from his staff who referred to the guy as "mohawk" -- no explanation as to whether Allen KNEW ahead of time that was what they were doing.

Meanwhile, Chad Dotson has confirmed that the man had a mohawk and that people called him "the mohawk guy", and I for one explicitly trust Chad to be telling the truth.

I can't imagine any explanation that would sound good as to how Allen would take the word "mohawk" and translate it to "macaca". Allen didn't give one, so maybe that's not what happened. I still think Allen heard his staff talking but didn't catch the exact word, and actually thought the guys name was "macaca" or something close to that.

I think it's shear random luck that the word "macaca" has some passing resemblance to another word that is a french slur that nobody knew before today.

Hey, here's another view though. Even today, I imagine it is a bit uncomfortable for a person of color to be in a room entirely of white people, especially white people who are in the other political party and know you are the democrat's staffer.

I know I felt out-of-place in a black baptist church, even though I had an entire faith in common. It's human nature to feel uncomfortable if you look different (i've also felt that way when I was obviously dressed wrong for an event).

So, if I were standing there feeling out-of-place, and then someone pointed me out, I might naturally feel put upon, just like this guy said he felt, regardless of what was said (and I simply don't believe this guy knew what "macaca" meant at the time).

So maybe I am too harsh to suggest he made up his feelings of angst.

Maybe I'm saying this because I'm having a horrible time ridding my column of "angst-causing" phraseology, so much so I'm afraid I might not be able to submit it tomorrow.

James Young said...

I'm more disturbed by the fact that a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, and an apparent honors student at UVa, would be running around with a mohawk, than I am by Allen's comment, which I do not presume to be more than a misstatement of "mohawk guy."

This is a tempest in a teapot, but it's one that the race hustlers in the Democrat Party and their media allies will try to exploit.

Anonymous said...

spin it anyway you want...believe what you want..hell, he likely isn't going to pay too much of a poltical price either...

but, coupled with allen's past, it is what it is...

Allen is a bully, bottom line, and likely a racist too. check that, he is a racist...look at the hate in his eyes..

Anonymous said...

Allen's mother does not need to be a racist in order for Allen to learn that macaca is a slur. That link is totally unnecessary and you have invented it. The point is having a French parent and French language training makes far more likely than the average person that he would have encountered the word. It was his decision to adopt it as acceptable, not necessarily his mother's.

As for your theory that Sidarth told the campaign that his name was Macaca hoping that Allen would make this mistake:

That would be a great story! Except one problem: Allen has already missed the chance to employ that explanation because he already came up with one inconsistent with that line, that he chose to call him "Mohawk" b/c of his haircut and just made a slip of the tongue, a few times.

The defense in your post is 1. he didn't know Macaca and 2. even if he did it was because the kid tricked him.

1 is dubious at best, although would be helped if 2 were true. As I said above, Allen's actions so far indicate that 2 is not true.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, so so disturbing....a TJ graduate and UVA student with an unorthodox haircut????

What's next....James Young wearing a condom??

Whats this world cumming to??!!??

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

You know, wouldn't it be so much easier, and so much more credible for conservatives and Republicans to just admit that their guy made a big gaffe and that it was troubling. Especially given some of Allen's other indefensible past actions like the noose, the confederate flag, his opposition to the Martin Luther King holiday, his support for Confederate Heritage Day.

It's not any one thing, it's the sum of all things. The guy has at least a perception problem at this point.

And falling all over yourselves with lame excuses for Allen's racist remark and his bullying tactics only discredits yourselves and your movement.

Republicans and conservatives are not racists. But they do need to condemn racist remarks when they hear them instead of twisting the facts to fit some alternate reality that exists only in fantasy.

People see through it. It hurts your cause, which should be the spread of conservative ideas not the defense of a bullying lamebrain.

Charles said...

AnonymousIsAWoman:

There's a problem with your thesis:

There was nothing wrong with the hangman's noose, when I worked a summer job we had one of those hanging around, and we also had an empty equipment rack set up to look like an electric chair. We don't get worked up like some people do.

There's nothing wrong with a college kid and a confederate flag. If he wore a KKK hood in his 40s, that would disqualify him from office, but not a pin. Oops, guess who wore a KKK hood in his 40s, and is a sitting U.S. senator.

I opposed the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as well. I'm over it now, but in my opinion there are black figures in our history that would be more deserving of a holiday. Further, if you look now at the number of individuals that have their own holiday, it isn't close to being appropriate for the diversity of our country. We should have given a woman a holiday first.

And don't try the "blacks should choose their own person for 'their' holiday.". It isn't the black's holiday, its for ALL of america, and the whites in america (namely me) didn't get to choose the "white" holidays.

And Virginia was part of the confederacy, so a confederate heritage day is a reasonable thing, and to try to mar it by castigating people today for wanting to honor their heritage, just because part of that heritage was evil, is wrong.

Realise that many blacks honor their "heritage", which goes back to african nations where the leaders sold their own people into slavery and did much worse, and where even today people are treated like cattle. But we don't make every celebration of "african heritage" include the bad things about that heritage.

I called on Allen to apologize, and he apologized, and if he was a democrat that would be that. Allen is a politician and should get a person's name right, even his opponents stalker-staffer (especially his opponent's stalker-staffer).

IF the Webb campaign had complained about Allen not getting the kid's name right and treating him with derision, I wouldn't have even bothered to comment. IT was the scurilous and absurd charges that forced many of us to try to put some sanity in the discussion.

Let's look at what the Webb campaign charged: Allen did NOT single the man out because he was not white, he was singled out because he worked for Webb. Allen did NOT call him "macaca", he said his name WAS "macaca" (more accurately, something that sounds like macaka or mahaka the first time, and macaca the 2nd time, by me listening to the tape). Allen did NOT say the man was a foreigner, he said Webb was out of touch with america, and welcomed Webb (through his proxy, the stalker) to "america, the real virginia".

The man was not instantly offended, all reports from the even indicate he was laughing, reporters saw nothing wrong, and it took the Webb campaign 2 days to come up with a story of offense to sell.

When the opponent so mischaracterises something, it is hard for those of us on the "other side" to discuss the actually minor offense, because the field has been so muddied by the false claims (including some clever manipulation of a wikopedia entry, which seems to include a webb supporter DELETING information and claiming it was Allen trying to cover his tracks).

Democrats are not interested in finding the common ground where we can all admit an offense, Allen can apologize, and we all move on. They just threw their 2000 VP candidate out of the party for trying to be a "uniter, not a divider". The democrats has "talked" unity, but have never practiced it, and now their intentions are clear.

Charles said...

AnonymousIsAWoman:

There's a problem with your thesis:

There was nothing wrong with the hangman's noose, when I worked a summer job we had one of those hanging around, and we also had an empty equipment rack set up to look like an electric chair. We don't get worked up like some people do.

There's nothing wrong with a college kid and a confederate flag. If he wore a KKK hood in his 40s, that would disqualify him from office, but not a pin. Oops, guess who wore a KKK hood in his 40s, and is a sitting U.S. senator.

I opposed the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as well. I'm over it now, but in my opinion there are black figures in our history that would be more deserving of a holiday. Further, if you look now at the number of individuals that have their own holiday, it isn't close to being appropriate for the diversity of our country. We should have given a woman a holiday first.

And don't try the "blacks should choose their own person for 'their' holiday.". It isn't the black's holiday, its for ALL of america, and the whites in america (namely me) didn't get to choose the "white" holidays.

And Virginia was part of the confederacy, so a confederate heritage day is a reasonable thing, and to try to mar it by castigating people today for wanting to honor their heritage, just because part of that heritage was evil, is wrong.

Realise that many blacks honor their "heritage", which goes back to african nations where the leaders sold their own people into slavery and did much worse, and where even today people are treated like cattle. But we don't make every celebration of "african heritage" include the bad things about that heritage.

I called on Allen to apologize, and he apologized, and if he was a democrat that would be that. Allen is a politician and should get a person's name right, even his opponents stalker-staffer (especially his opponent's stalker-staffer).

IF the Webb campaign had complained about Allen not getting the kid's name right and treating him with derision, I wouldn't have even bothered to comment. IT was the scurilous and absurd charges that forced many of us to try to put some sanity in the discussion.

Let's look at what the Webb campaign charged: Allen did NOT single the man out because he was not white, he was singled out because he worked for Webb. Allen did NOT call him "macaca", he said his name WAS "macaca" (more accurately, something that sounds like macaka or mahaka the first time, and macaca the 2nd time, by me listening to the tape). Allen did NOT say the man was a foreigner, he said Webb was out of touch with america, and welcomed Webb (through his proxy, the stalker) to "america, the real virginia".

The man was not instantly offended, all reports from the even indicate he was laughing, reporters saw nothing wrong, and it took the Webb campaign 2 days to come up with a story of offense to sell.

When the opponent so mischaracterises something, it is hard for those of us on the "other side" to discuss the actually minor offense, because the field has been so muddied by the false claims (including some clever manipulation of a wikopedia entry, which seems to include a webb supporter DELETING information and claiming it was Allen trying to cover his tracks).

Democrats are not interested in finding the common ground where we can all admit an offense, Allen can apologize, and we all move on. They just threw their 2000 VP candidate out of the party for trying to be a "uniter, not a divider". The democrats has "talked" unity, but have never practiced it, and now their intentions are clear.

Charles said...

Because some took it too seriously, I feel compelled to note that I highly discount the possibility that the Webb staffer misled the Allen campaign about his name to set them up.

My point was that the entire incident is all based on the testimony of the Webb staffer, along with a Webb campaign video that is still in Webb's possession and was held for over 2 days before being released.

The possibility of a setup by the Webb campaign, given that this was exactly why they had the guy videotaping to begin with, was certainly as "possible" as the highly unlikely case that Allen deliberately used a foreign-language racial slur on videotape to somehow "appeal to his base" when his base would have no idea what he was talking about.

Webb supporters all roundly dismissed the idea that the guy mislead Allen's campaign about his name -- showing that, given the appropriate circumstances, they actually DO understand logic.

Anonymous said...

I guess we know how valuable the civil rights movement was to charles here.

Not very, apparently.

Charles said...

Well, being a white male who grew up in Connecticut largely in the post-civil-rights era (I was born in 1959), I would readily admit that it wasn't as big a deal for me as it was for many people.

But I don't really think we should have holidays for ANY individuals, because there are too many individuals to just single out one or two.

And yes, I happen to believe that, as important a figure as Martin Luther King Jr was to our recent history, other Blacks have been more influential in shaping our country.

Actually though it is fun to discuss that topic, because a lot of people don't know what a lot of blacks did, especially older people who didn't have black history month at school every year.

Further, if we were really looking to add ONE new holiday to recognize a specific group that had been previously left out, why pick a race of about 11% of the population, when you could pick a woman from 54% of the population?

It isn't really about the civil rights movement being unimportant, it's about favoring a specific person from recent history which tends to shape perceptions before they have properly settled.

The point being that calling someone a racist because they opposed making a holiday for MLK is just typical democrat race-baiting that makes it hard to have real conversations.

As I said, it would be fun to discuss the relative merits of the contributions of blacks to America, but how can we do that if my bringing up the subject makes others claim I don't care about Civil Rights?

Anonymous said...

It's all about percentages, apparently. The courage of Martin Luther King, the rights he gained for former slaves across the country, that doesn't matter to charles here.

What matters is that the goddamn blacks have a holiday at 11% of the population while women don't at 54%!

What's the world coming to?

AWCheney said...

Looks like anonymous (4:58) just made your point, Charles.

YO, E ROCKS! said...

Oh my word, you "two" are utterly clueless... in supporting Allen, have you researched his anti-Semitic and racist history?

Allen made a mistake in not asking for Sidarth's name. It doesn't take someone with much charisma or character to simply go, "uh, excuse me. You in the yellow shirt, what's your name? And who are you with?"

Allen didn't do that. Allen went full ignorant racist speed ahead, using the epithet, and then "welcoming" the guy to America. It doesn't get any more politely racist.

The "mohawk" nickname, though, caps it: it makes no sense in less the staffers have no idea what kind of Indian-American S.R. Sidarth is. More on my blog.

btw, It's more of a G.I. haircut than a Mohawk.

James Young said...

I began to wonder about this early, too, Charles. Beat me to a post on it. Great minds think alike.

James Young said...

And my kudos to Kenton (post 3), who obviously has courage far superior to many of his elders.

Now if we could just straighten this poor, misguided kid out!

Speaking of a lack of courage, "NoVA Scout," there have been plenty of people who have commented about Mrs. Allen's heritage. These are the same people who have said George is a racist for using this word. By asserting that he learned it from Mrs. Allen, they are asserting by hypothesis that she is a racist.

Anonymous said...

He should have just pointed the a**hole out and told everyone to look at the dumb a**hole that was following him around for the 'spider Webb' campaign. Either way it would have been a laugh line with no lingering effect.

It really does prove Webb has nothing of substance to say and like the rest of the left wing anti-americans can only critize someone else to get their name in the paper. Wheee, i'm long winded today.

I like the dimorats new plan for the war against terrorism. Pull all of the troops out of the middle east and give all the money to Police, Fire and rescue. They want to insure we have sufficient body bags to put all of you folks in when their friendly terrorists kill you.
Volunteer Firemed

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter George Allen is a dim light bulb and as governor of Virginia was a disaster.

Anonymous said...

And it took a democrat to clean up the deficit he left behind Who says republicans can add 2&2. I lived under this dim, shoot from the hip, never did a thing on his own but came under his father's name moron. He left Virginia with an enormous deficit and it took Mark Warner to put the state in a plus Get real all of you this guy is a hanger on like Bush and never accomplished a diddly sqaut, let alone show himself as dyed in the wool bigot.

Anonymous said...

i see so you are not going to post my comment typical of the republicans no bad press or news By the way if I can read those letters does it show I'm not blind?