What Did Mr. Allen Mean?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) claims that he did not know the meaning of "macaca" when he used the word twice during a campaign rally to single out and ridicule an American of Indian descent who works as a volunteer for his Democratic opponent, James Webb ["Allen Quip Provokes Outrage, Apology; Name Insults Webb Volunteer," front page, Aug. 15].

Perhaps those who actually believe that a senator would use language in public that he does not know the meaning of will conclude that the senator does not have the requisite intelligence to be returned to office.

JUDITH E. SCHAEFFER

Alexandria

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We would like to thank you for taking the right stand on the gaffe of Sen. George Allen ["George Allen's America," editorial, Aug. 15].

It is quite shocking for a person of Mr. Allen's caliber, who is running for a second Senate term and is a likely candidate for president in 2008, to point a finger at a young lad of 20, bullying our grandson, S.R. Sidarth, and calling him a derogatory and uncalled-for name. Sidarth was only videotaping the event.

In the 1930s Sidarth's great-grandfather accompanied Mohandas Gandhi to London as his secretary at the Round Table Conference on political reform in India. We come from a heritage of nationalists and seekers after truth. Hence these remarks hurt all the more, and we are personally affected by such an attack.

BOB NARASIMHAN

MANI NARASIMHAN

Bethesda

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