Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Am Actually Surprised By This One...

I am not sure I have much to say, or for that matter need to say anything about this story. I was not aware of this incident and I thank my friend for bringing this to my attention! When she first posted this story, I thought it must be a smear tactic or fake news story ala "The Onion." A little research showed otherwise. I had at one time thought that if a republican did win he would be the least objectionable, I stand corrected.

McCain Criticized for Slur
He says he'll keep using term for ex-captors in Vietnam

C.W. Nevius, Marc Sandalow, John Wildermuth, Chronicle Political Writers
Friday, February 18, 2000

(02-18) 04:00 PST Greenville, S.C. -- Editor's Note: This article was published on Feb. 18, 2000. In January 2008, at least two national web sites posted links to it. As a result, it appeared in the list of SFGate's Most Read articles.

Arizona Sen. John McCain refused to apologize yesterday for his use of a racial slur to condemn the North Vietnamese prison guards who tortured and held him captive during the war.

"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."

McCain, a former Navy pilot who spent five years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp, was questioned about the language because of a story last month in the Nation magazine reporting his continued use of the slur.

Since then, reports of McCain's language have been circulating on Internet chat sites and e-mails among Asian Americans, many of whom find the the term offensive and inappropriate for an elected official.

McCain's appeal to voters has been as a wartime hero and a feisty politician who speaks his mind and damns the consequences. But his comments on the eve of the key South Carolina primary show the candidate's vaunted "straight talk" in another light.

"The use of a racist slur can't be acceptable for any national leader, regardless of his background," said Diane Chin, executive director of the San Francisco-based Chinese for Affirmative Action. "For someone running for president not to recognize the power of words is a problem."

While McCain's words may have little effect in conservative South Carolina, where few Asian Americans live, they could come back to haunt him in other states.

"Historically, straight talkers who say things off the top of their heads eventually hang themselves with those sorts of remarks," said Bruce Cain, a political scientist at the University of California at Berkeley.

"While it might not hurt him now, Democrats are not going to have any hesitation about using this stuff to string him up later."

Read the full story here.

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