Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Do macacas have brains?

I recently ran into an article of an individual who was reportedly called a macaca (is a dismissive epithet used by the erstwhile colonials in Central Africa for the native population. It may be derived from the name of the genus comprising macaque monkeys and may be construed as a racial slur) by none other then the current United States senator from Virginia.

On further research I found out the purported macaca had the following distinctions..
1. He had a GPA of 4.1 at the elite Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax county, Virginia
2. He scored 1550 on SATs
3. His great-grandfather accompanied Mahatma Gandhi to London for talks on political reform. 4. His grandfather was secretary of the World Health Organization in the 1990s.
5. His father was a prosperous mortgage banker
6. His mother, a teacher of Indian classical dance.
7. His family played important roles in the founding of Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham VA , one of the largest Hindu temples in the country.

I also found out that the following about the word macaca (from Wikipedia):

1. The first European settlers in the Congo Free State derogatively referred to natives as macaques
2. In the Belgian Congo, colonial whites continued to call Africans macaques and insist that they had only recently come down from trees. The term sale macaque (filthy monkey) was occasionally used as an insult.
3. The word is still occasionally used in Belgium (both in Flanders and in Wallonia) as a racial slur, referring not to Congolese but to Moroccan immigrants or their descendants.

Go figure...

Read on about the senator exploits at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/24/AR2006082401639.html

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