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George Allen's macaca misstep

“The term ‘macaca’ refers to a genus of monkey and is considered a slur in some cultures,” reports a Page One story in the Washington Post.

Be honest. Did you know that this word was a slur in any culture?

I surely didn’t.

And I very strongly suspect that Virginia’s U.S. Sen. George Allen did not, either – as he noted when the first roll of what became a giant Big Media onslaught took place.

Now Sen. Allen, who is in a re-election campaign with a possible later bid for the presidency, has repeatedly and sincerely apologized.

His apology has been made to a University of Virginia student aide to rival Senate candidate Jim Webb, S.R. Sidarth, an American of the subcontinent of India descent.

The Washington Post, while reporting this U.S. senator’s repeated apologies, quoted this U.Va. student as saying: “I still have some questions about why it took so long, but yes, he did the right thing.”

“Asked whether he thought the apology was sincere, Sidarth declined comment.”

Think about that.

This college student, first said the senator “did the right thing.”

But when asked by the Post if he thought Sen. Allen was sincere in this apology, Sidarth declined comment.

Why on earth did he decline comment when asked if Allen was sincere – when he had just said that Allen “did the right thing”?

Why on earth did Post reporters Michael Shear and Tim Craig – right after Sidarth’s “He did the right thing” – proceed to ask if Allen was sincere in doing the right thing?

Does the Washington Post believe that there is no connection between sincerity and “doing the right thing”?

That is a question that should be asked of student Sidarth by the University of Virginia’s famed honor committee:

“How could you tell the major media that Senator Allen ‘did the right thing’ and then immediately decline to comment, when asked if the ‘right thing’ was ‘sincere'”?

After the Washington Post’s editorial page did its best to try to savage Sen. Allen, its Sunday Outlook section published “IN DEFENSE OF ANDREW YOUNG” by John McWhorter of the Manhattan Institute:

“Andrew Young unwittingly ended his brief tenure as Wal-Mart’s ambassador to U.S. cities this month with his remarks about the nation’s urban mom and pop shops:

“‘Those are the people who have been overcharging us – selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables,’ he told the Los Angeles Sentinel, an African American weekly. ‘First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it’s Arabs,’ he added. ‘Very few black folks own these stores.’

“Young was hammered so quickly in the national media – the Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page even suggested that he qualified for a Mel Gibson Sensitivity Prize – that he immediately stepped down from Wal-Mart and issued mea culpas to the New York Times, CNN and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.”

McWhorter goes on to contend:

“Perhaps unaware that his Sentinel interview would travel so widely through the blogosphere and the national media, Young was, in his own way, using black America’s private language rather than its public one. In that private language, the shopkeeper issue implies a positive vision of old black communities, where African Americans both owned and shopped in such stores.”

Think about that.

The Washington Post has published this absolutely incredible claim of “black America’s private language.”

In other words, black racism is OK if it is done in private.

McWhorter did actually precede this with a modification:

“The mainstream media have ignored (or remain unaware of) an interesting point concerning Young’s allegedly racist comments: His views are in fact common coin among inner-city black people – the very people the hate-speech patrol so ardently hopes to protect. The notion that non-black owners of corner stores are ‘interlopers’ in African American communities is a staple of black nationalist politics and black talk radio. Young’s statement played right into the Sentinel’s motto: ‘The Voice of Our Community Speaking for Itself.’

“Of course, this decades-old community talking point has its downside. Among less reflective sorts, it encourages an anti-Semitic strain that is indefensible, given how many Jewish people stood alongside blacks during the bloodiest phases of the struggle for civil rights. Jewish civil rights workers Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were dragged from their car, shot dead and left to rot under a Mississippi dam in 1964 – and 20 years later, Jesse Jackson still called New York City ‘Hymietown.'”

And he also noted:

“Imagine for a moment that Allen actually knew that a ‘macaque’ is a kind of monkey, or that in French the term is sometimes used as an insult for North Africans (Allen denied having known about either). Who, then, believes that Allen would use the slur against an opposition campaigner aiming a camera straight at him?

“The facts of the case would suggest that Allen just made up something silly on the spot – something especially clear from the video of the incident, in which Allen, as usual, speaks in his jocular backyard-barbecue tone.”