When US politicians go racist

by Stephen Tall on August 17, 2006

Okay, so I’m not a proper politician, just a bit of a jumped-up part-timer with enough brass-necked vanity to think people might sometimes want to read what’s in my head. But I do know this much: if you are troubled by racist thoughts, and you are running for political office – don’t speak them out loud, ffs.

First, Senator George Allen (Rep., Virginia) was captured on film addressing a young Indian-American volunteer for his Senate opponent, Jim Webb (Dem.):

“Let’s give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.”

Macaca, Taegan Goddard informs us, “could mean either a monkey” or “a racial slur against African immigrants”. Wikipedia records that it is “a dismissive epithet used by Francophone colonials in Africa for native populations of North and Subsaharan Africans.”

Watch a political career implode here (1):

(To be fair, Sen. Allen has explained that the term “macaca” was not meant in a racist way. He merely meant to call the young man a “shit-head”. Well, that’s alright then.)

Now another Republican running for office, Tramm Hudson (could his name be any more American?) – who is hoping to succeed the flamboyant Republican Senator Katherine Harris in Florida’s 13th congressional district – has decided to get in on the act:

“I grew up In Alabama, and I understand, and I know this from my experience, but blacks are not the greatest swimmers or may not even know how to swim.”

Watch a political career implode here (2):