I suspect this is especially troubling to me since I just returned from vacation in the south and spent a day tromping around a former Rice plantation.
Republican Senator George Allen, on a campaign stop, referred to an Indian-American (according to various news reports, the only non-white member of the audience) as a “Macaca”. Not once, but twice.
Here’s the video.
If spelled “Macaca”, the term refers to a species of monkey in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Spelled “Makaka”, it refers to a town in South Africa.
There really is no defense or reasonable explanation of this event, although I’ll grant the applauding crowd that benefit of the doubt that they probably had no idea what the word meant. While not as apalling as utilizing a European equivalent to the “N-word”, the fact Allen assumed this person was an immigrant just cooborates his total ignorance.
And these are the people running our country.