Allen hopes “macaca” will not be his legacy
George Allen took full responsibility for the “macaca” controversy which led to his political demise. In an interview Tuesday on NBC12 First at 4, Allen called the incident where he called out a member of the Jim Webb campaign staff who was videotaping him, a “mistake”.
“If I had any idea that word would be construed as a slur,” Allen explained, “I would never have said it.”
That is consistent with how he discusses the incident in his new book “What Washington Can Learn From The World of Sports“.
In the book, Allen writes:
“I thought of it as a nonsense word. If I had known the nickname could be considered a racial slur, I would not have said it….
…I apologized to him and take full responsibility for the remark and its aftermath, which should have been handled much better.”
from the book What Washington Can Learn From The World Of Sports
Detractors of Allen have had trouble believing that he did not know exactly what macaca meant. They point to his mother’s North African roots as an example of his exposure to the derogatory term. Allen thinks that connection is a bit far fetched.
“Don’t drag my mother into it,” said Allen. He claimed that his mother Henrietta, who was born in Tunisia, also had no idea what the word meant. Instead, the former Senator and Governor made the case that all the incident did was detract from the important issues in the campaign.
“It was a made up word, a nonsense word and the campaign opposition was able to get into word origins and gotcha politics,” he said.
The Republican said he hopes the incident won’t define his political legacy. He said that people should judge him by his record, not just one incident. He also left the door open to the idea that his career in the public sector isn’t done quite yet.
“My answer as far as what I may do in the future and running is ‘perhaps’.”
Perhaps we have not seen the last of George Allen.
Our full interview can be seen below.