The man behind the infamous “macaca” slur is back in the spotlight for his racially troubled past.
Workers’ Voice, a Super PAC, launched several attack ads today against Republican Virginia Senate candidate George Allen, reminding people about his history of racially-insensitive behavior.
The former senator popularized the term “macaca” after he was caught on video using it against a Indian man representing his political opposition during his 2006 re-lection campaign. The derogatory word, which means monkey, is thought to be the reason why he lost the race against Democrat Jim Webb.
Now he’s making a comeback, racing against Democrat Tim Kaine for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat.
The online ads say, “George Allen has a bit of a problem” and ask visitors to the site to fill out a form and pick “the most deplorable of George Allen’s actions.”
The organization created four ads, each addressing a different issue of Allen’s past.
Two of the ads say Allen “hung a confederate flag in his living room” and “kept a noose in his law office.” Allen has said the displays were part of his flag and Western collections.
Another ad says Allen “voted against MLK Day.” For over a decade, Virginia celebrated “Lee-Jackson-King Day,” honoring war heroes Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
During the push to give Dr. King his own day of recognition, Allen was one of the legislators opposed to the idea. He later changed his mind and this January he penned a letter for The Washington Post celebrating Dr. King’s legacy, calling him one of America’s “most inspirational leaders.”
The final ad addresses what Allen is probably most known for: his macaca gaffe.
We reached out to Allen’s campaign office and received no reply, but Emily Davis, spokeswoman for Allen’s campaign told USA Today, “George Allen has apologized and forthrightly addressed these old accusations.”
She also told the newspaper that voters are interested in talking about job concerns, taxes, and gas prices, not “old accusations.”
“I made mistakes and I take responsibility for them,” Allen said in an interview with Bearing Drift after announcing his comeback.
“George Allen kept a noose and a Confederate flag in his office and anyone who would insult the African-American and Latino people of Virginia this way is not fit to hold office,” said Workers’ Voice spokesman Eddie Vale in a statement. “This is similar to, but even more offensive, than Mitt Romney secretly attacking 47 percent of all Americans.”
Workers’ Voice is affiliated with the AFL-CIO and its goal is to encourage minority voters to vote for Allen’s opponent, Tim Kaine, in the upcoming election.
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