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Friday, July 25, 2008

I don't want to make this Hate-On-J(ohn) Day, but...


I know people may accuse me of being P.C., but hell - put yourself in Irwin Tang's shoes. How would you feel?

McCain apparently wrote about his experiences in 1973 for U.S. News & World Report, and used the word twelve times:
The great advantage to living in a big room is that way only a couple or three guys out of the group have to deal with the "gooks." When you're living by yourself, then you've got to deal with them all the time. You always have some fight with them. Maybe you're allowed 15 minutes to bathe, and the "gook" will say in five minutes you've got to go back.

Tang references a San Franciscco Chronicle article from 2000 - in which McCain used the term while running for President the first time:
"I hate the gooks," McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. "I will hate them as long as I live."

Can you imagine such a quote in 2008, with the increased market in 24/7 news?

Tang was echoing this guy towards the end of the video:
The horrors of the past cannot be an excuse for hurting people in the present, said Guy Aoki, president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, an anti-defamation group.

"If Sen. McCain had been captured by Nigerians, could he call those people `niggers' and think he wasn't going to offend everyone who is black?" Akoi asked. "We can all feel for what he went through, but if that's his level of sensitivity, I'm very disappointed."

If McCain said such a thing today, his campaign would be over. But having said "gook" - you're offending fewer Americans - he hopes to get a pass. Maybe qualifying the remark will help:
"I was referring to my prison guards," McCain said, "and I will continue to refer to them in language that might offend some people because of the beating and torture of my friends."

It's simply a poor excuse.

My great-grandfather couldn't go around calling everyone "whitey" all his life because he'd been chased north at 15 because he was going to be lynched. (Maybe "gook", though - I mean, it only seems to matter most when White people at-large are being insulted.)

I have every appreciation for what Senator McCain endured as a prisoner of war, and he can carry that hatred if he so pleases. But that makes me very wary about him becoming President of the United States. He must not forget that he's hoping to represent a country that is populated by a lot of the people - a lot of voters, if that's what matters to him - that he's insulting with that term.


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