S.R. Sidarth, a senior at the University of Virginia, had been trailing Sen. George Allen (R-VA) with a video camera to document his travels and speeches for the Jim Webb (D) campaign. During a campaign speech Friday in Breaks, Virginia, near the Kentucky border, Allen singled out Sidarth and called him a word that sounded like "Macaca."
"Lets give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia," said Allen, who then began talking about the "war on terror."
In an interview, Sidarth said he suspects Allen singled him out because he was the only non-white face in the audience, which he estimated included about 100 Republican supporters.
If spelled M-a-c-a-c-a, the term refers to a species of monkeys in the Eastern Hemisphere. "Is he saying Sidarth is a monkey?" [Webb spokesperson Kristian Denny] Todd asked. The word M-a-k-a-k-a refers to a town in South Africa.
"The kid has a name. This is trying to demean him, to minimize him as a person," Todd said.