Former Virginia Senator
George Allen is in trouble again, after a security camera inside a Dunkin’ Donuts
store caught him saying to a friend, "India is full of unruly
Buddhadev "Buddy" 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. "The 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."
sparked an uproar in the Indian-American community, as well as scattered
protests in India. "How dare he call us monkeys?" Atlanta resident Rajan "Roger"
Sankaraman said. "Do monkeys know how to program computers? Do monkeys know how to prescribe medicine? Do monkeys know how to prepare chapatis?"
Joshi, president of the National Federation of Indian-American Federations,
demanded that Allen apologize on national TV. "We would call for his
resignation," Joshi said, "but he has nothing to resign from."
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. "Our monkeys are our business."
threatened to go on a hunger strike until Allen apologized. "You can call us
monkeys if you want," he said, "but please don’t say anything bad about our
Monkey photo by dlisbona