Report: George Allen embroiled in monkey controversy

Former Virginia Senator
George Allen is in trouble again, after a security camera inside a Dunkin’ DonutsGeorge_allen_3
store caught him saying to a friend, "€œIndia is full of unruly
monkeys."

Buddhadev "œBuddy" Patel, owner of the store in
Charlottesville, Va., said he had been reviewing the video on Nov. 20 to see if
customers were taking too many napkins when he spotted Allen in the store. "I
recognized him immediately -“- the man who called one of us a macaca," said Patel,
referring to the racial slur that derailed Allen’s bid for re-election in 2006. "€œThe audio wasn’t clear, so I took it to one of my friends who is a lip reader.
And sure enough, Allen was calling us unruly monkeys."

Allen’€™s words
sparked an uproar in the Indian-American community, as well as scattered
protests in India. "€œHow dare he call us monkeys?" Atlanta resident Rajan "œRoger"
Sankaraman said. "œDo monkeys know how to program computers? Do monkeys know how to prescribe medicine? Do monkeys know how to prepare chapatis?"

Niraj
Joshi, president of the National Federation of Indian-American Federations,
demanded that Allen apologize on national TV. "œWe would call for his
resignation,"€ Joshi said, "œbut he has nothing to resign from."

Monkey1_3
Allen spokeswoman Susan Brown said the Republican has no
current plans to apologize. "If he had to apologize, he wouldn’™t do it on
national TV," said Brown, who also serves as Allen’€™s wife. "He would apologize
into the security camera at Dunkin’ Donuts."€

She said Allen was not
referring to Indians, but to the actual monkeys that have been terrorizing
people in Delhi
and elsewhere. "George read an article about all the monkeys in
India and was chatting with his friend about it. It was a private conversation
and should not have been made public."€

But Brown’s explanation triggered
even more protests in India, where Shiv Sena activists used a trained monkey to
set fire to an effigy of Allen.

"Leave our monkeys alone, George
Allen," one man shouted. "€œOur monkeys are our business."€

Another man
threatened to go on a hunger strike until Allen apologized. "œYou can call us
monkeys if you want," he said, "€œbut please don’™t say anything bad about our
monkeys."

Monkey photo by dlisbona

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

Comments

  1. Philip Milhous Duert says:

    This was hysterical Melvin! 🙂

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