Thursday, August 17, 2006

Personal Asides: Another Quiz (Starting off with an Easy One)…George Allen’s Humiliating Racist Epithet (Which We Never Heard of Until Yesterday)

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Another Quiz.

Remember, no search engines. Here’s an easy one. Who said this and what was the occasion? “Your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable. It is to win our wars…When I cross the river, my last conscious thoughts will be of the corps and the corps and the corps.”

Another. Who said it? You can probably guess. “I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king.”

Yet another fairly easy one. Who said it and what was the occasion? “Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.”

Finally, a tough one. He was a lawyer, representing a plaintiff who sued a neighbor for the killing of his dog. He got a huge jury award for a talk that ended with this eloquence. It’s contained in all the textbooks on speech rhetoric. Who said it? (This is tough). “If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.”

Allen.

I’ve never taken U. S. Senator and former Virginia governor George Allen seriously as a 2008 presidential prospect but this will have to change after “Good Morning America” wet its collective pants with high dungeon, suffering a pomposity stroke and apoplectic fit over a purported slur he made at a …gulp…minority—which in ABC’s hysterical imagination removes him from contention as a future president. Now ask what demagogic slur word Allen used which will separate him from decent men and women.

It was: “malaca.” O, suffer us not to hear it! Have you ever heard the word “malaca” and felt your blood run cold? Did colonials fought for freedom since 1776…did George Washington’s troops lay on the frozen ground at Valley Forge…did James Madison flee the White House and live in a chicken coop during the War of 1812…did Lincoln look out from the White House windows to see Lee’s campfires beyond Arlington…did Franklin Roosevelt save us from the Depression and lead us to victory in World War II…did Ronald Reagan enable us to triumph in the Cold War…all of which built our freedoms—only to have their guarantee of free speech defiled when a son of a football coach carelessly tossed out this word “malaca” to describe S. R. Sidarth, a campaign aide to his opponent, which nullified all progress toward tolerance and rang down the curtain of civility in this nation?

You’ve heard and dreaded the word “malaca” tossed around the public housing projects of Chicago and the red-neck bars of the southwest side have you not? You’ve been chilled when you hear “malaca” especially after you run to the dictionary and find it is, as ABC has discovered, a term of derogation applied to Indian immigrants from Africa and Indian new arrivals, is that not so? It so happens Allen’s opponent, James Webb’s aide is from India and he insists he was insulted. O the ignominy of it! It may not just slur Indians or is a derisive term used to describe African immigrants but can refer to a kind of monkey found in Asia. You’ve heard the scurrilous word “malaca” tossed around promiscuously in this racist city, haven’t you? Perhaps in heated moments you yourself shouted the word “malaca” at someone not of your color or gender or religion or ethnic classification and, on reflection, suffered the burning cheeks of guilt. Today, assuredly, the New York Times will editorialize against it, having just learned the word.

O the humiliation of it!

0 the nonsense of it!

5 comments:

  1. About the first two, I have no idea.

    The third quote, about spectacles, was definitely General Douglas MacArthur in his famous address to a joint session of Congress.

    For the final quote, about the dog, my best wild guess is Clarence Darrow (although, if you hadn't said that the quote is famous and in the textbooks, I might have considered guessing a more contemporary legal luminary, such as Allen Dershowitz or Mark McGuire.)

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  2. On this matter, I propose that we solicit the opinion of the only Asian-Indian-American presently holding an elected office at the federal level, U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

    If I were he, I would be tempted to make a pilgrimage to Virgina to assure George Allen of Malaca-American support.

    When Mr. Sidarth's boss instructed him to take offense, I imagine his response was probably in some way equivalent to, "Yes, Sahib!"

    -WPD

    PS: It's "high dudgeon," not "high dungeon."

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  3. So-Called "Austin Mayor"August 17, 2006 at 4:39 AM

    Even setting aside for a moment your fine character, it is no wonder that you have never heard of this particular racial slur. The slur in question is of French/North African origin -- just like George Allen.

    The word "macaca" is a variation of "macaque", which refers to a type of monkey, and is a French racial slur used for dark skinned peoples of North African descent.[http://tinyurl.com/q9caa] Allen's mother immigrated from French Tunisia and is of French descent.[http://tinyurl.com/q9caa] Allen speaks French and obtained excellent grades in French as an undergraduate.[http://tinyurl.com/q9caa]

    So while there would be no reason for you to know of this particular racial slur, there is every reason to believe that Mr. Allen knew exactly what he was saying.

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  4. THe good folks at "Good Morning, Connecticut" need to take a field trip - Hell, i'll sping for it! - to a Greek family owned establishment ( diner perhaps?) and hear that very word applied to Cousins Chris, Jim, and Gus working the big grill with vigor and frequency.

    Malaca is term of derision for a person pathologically dedicated to onanism: http://www.ralphmag.org/onan.html

    OPPAH! or is it OPRAH?

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  5. 1.Dugout Doug - my father a WWII Marine detests the man!
    2. Good Queen Bess - slaughtered Micks for kicks before and after The O'Neill put the hurt on her boyfriends.

    3. Robert E. Lee ( I am guessing here) a Christian gentleman.

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