Racial slur: Senator loses award

Description of an Indian American as 'macaca', a genus of monkey, by a US Senator costs him award after protest.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2006 20:56 IST

Description of Indian American political volunteer as 'macaca', a genus of monkey, by a Republican Senator has cost the law maker an award following protests.

The remark by Republican Senator for Virginia George Allen created a controversy that forced him to decline a leadership award from an African American minority fund.

The donors protested the award to Senator Allen and even threatened to withold contributions if the law maker was presented the community leadership prize with the latest uproar coming from Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. Justice Marshall is the first African American to become a judge of the United States Supreme Court.

Allen had a month back singled out SR Sidarth, who was a volunteer with Democrat Jim Webb, and called him a "macaca". He had also "welcomed" to America the 20-year-old Sidarth, who was born in Fairfax county in Virginia, according to media reports.

"Macaca" is a genus of monkey and is considered a racial slur.

Several Indian American groups protested the Senator's remarks even as some argued that the community was going to extraordinary lengths to persist with the controversy especially after Senator Allen had repeatedly apologised.

"The foundation told the Senator that they've been catching a lot of static from members and some of their donors... Before it spins into...Controversy, we just decided to decline it," Allen'a spokesman John Reid said.

The reports said Senator Allen looked at the reaction to the award in the framework of political adversaries in an election year.

First Published: Sep 01, 2006 20:30 IST