Skip to main content

I guess it’s time to forgive John McCain for the following comments from back in 2000.
After all, he was only 64 years old when he made these remarks. Still I wonder how it plays on the Asians for McCain Web Site (yeah - it really exists) or with any of your Asian friends who are currently leaning toward McCain.

The article shown below in black has been lifted from a San Francisco Chronicle article from February 18, 2000.
My own astute running commentary may be read between the blockquotes.

From The San Francisco Chronicle:
McCain Criticized for Slur
He says he’ll keep using term for ex-captors in Vietnam
Friday, February 18, 2000
Arizona Sen. John McCain refused to apologize yesterday (2/17/00) for his use of a racial slur to condemn the North Vietnamese prison guards who tortured and held him captive during the war.

Read on...

“I hate the gooks,” McCain said yesterday (2/17/00) in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. “I will hate them as long as I live.”

Let’s see, he’s 72 now... The Actuarial Tables give him... 4 More Years? - There is a duck worse than a Lame Duck.

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 (Jan, 2000) in the Nation magazine reporting his continued use of the slur.

McCain slurs a lot – give him a break, the man’s 72... also drools a lot and occasionally forgets things – like house keys and Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

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.

Only appointed public servants are permitted to use that language.

McCain’s appeal to voters has been as a wartime hero and a feisty politician who speaks his mind and damns the consequences.

Yes, it’s true. McCain can occasionally lose control of his temper and try to start wars – but gloriously, our Judeo-Christian God of All Gods has chosen Him (mccain) as the Republican candidate for President.

But his comments on the eve of the key South Carolina primary show the candidate’s vaunted “straight talk” in another light.

Initially, The Media considered McCain’s “Gook” slur a compliment after weighing it against Bush’s vile attacks on McCain.

“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.”

That’s silly. Our current President doesn’t even speak a known language - and he was reelected.

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.

Or as Strom Thurmond used to tell McCain, “The only good Gook is an unregistered Gook.”

"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.

Like me – but I’m not on the ballot... this time.

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

The Dems will try to use it but the Media will brand them as weak on hate.

McCain made no apologies yesterday.

In fact, it took him a couple of days to apologize, but only to Anderson Air Force Base, in Guam.

“I was referring to my prison guards,” McCain said, “and I will continue to refer to them in language that might offend some people because of the beating and torture of my friends.”

Ebonics can come in handy.

McCain made it clear that his anger extends only toward his captors. As a senator, he was one of the leaders of the postwar effort to normalize U.S. relations with Vietnam.

I believe the Senator’s exact words were, “We’re good neighbors – only Iran separates us from sharing common borders with Vietnam.”

Campaign officials do not expect the controversy to hurt McCain, either in tomorrow’s South Carolina primary or later in the campaign.

It wasn’t going to hurt since they expected to get their asses creamed.

“If people understood the context, they wouldn’t be upset,” Mike Murphy, a senior adviser to the campaign, said last night.

Thanks Mike – we all feel better, already. Ever consider the Ministry?

But the racial slur used by the senator has a long, painful history that is felt by many Asian Americans.
The word “gook” was first used in 1899 by American soldiers fighting Filipino insurgents.

Credited to a Captain Ezekiel McCain.

During the Korean War, the term was aimed at Koreans and Chinese.

MacArthur was running low on ammo at Inchon, so the Marines began lobbing insults.

It was directed at the Vietnamese when Americans were fighting in Vietnam. It is now used as a slur toward any Asian or Pacific Islander.

McCain considers the Hawaii-raised Obama an Exotic Gook.

The Arizona senator prides himself in running an open campaign.

Not unike an open sewer.

He is surrounded by reporters, television cameras and tape recorders perhaps more than any presidential candidate in history.

When they’re not offering him oral sex in return for his barbequed chicken.

Reporters are given full access to the candidate between each campaign stop on a customized bus purposefully dubbed the “Straight Talk Express.”

And it’s armored, too. No Chinks! Right Senator?

The bus, also carries his top staff and often his wife, Cindy.

It’s actually a Transformer that turns into a private jet – not the bus – Cindy.

(It’s) crammed with network anchors and local newspaper reporters, who endlessly engage McCain in what amounts to a news conference on wheels.

Also known as Deals on Wheels and used by McCain’s friend, Lobbyist to Mass Murderers and Campaign Manager, Charlie Black.

The comments are usually recorded and always on the record.

At least from the reporters filing Pro-McCain stories.

http://thinkprogress.org/...

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com...

Sometimes the questions are pointed and serious. Sometimes they are not.

Sometimes my asides are pointed and serious. Sometimes they are not.
(I made up that Ezekiel McCain story)

McCain has declared on his bus, “I hate the French.” He often begins meetings with Californians joking, “I hate Californians,” noting that they steal Arizona’s water and lure his constituents away in the summer.

All Californians look exotic and act thirsty.

But those comments are clearly in jest. Yesterday’s were not.

What’s the test for distinguishing Funny JS McCain from No-So-Funny JO McCain?

McCain was captured after his A-4 Skyhawk was shot down over Hanoi on Oct. 26, 1967.

Historical Note Here: McCain crashed two jets while flying over the Continental United States but was not beaten nor held as a prisoner after either one of the incidents. Apparently, his father the Admiral found a stick and drew a simple, touching picture on the wall for the Navy’s Chief JAG.  

During the time he was held, he was brutally *tortured by his captors, finally reaching the point where he was unable to resist signing a “confession.”

Apparently, it wasn’t a confession. He was bilked into buying 10 condos.
But seriously, McCain was never tortured.
“How dare I say that,” you say?
BECAUSE, every brutal act perpetrated on McCain has been (I’m still serious) legally defined as non-torture by our own Justice Department under the Bush Administration – and signed into law by, among others – you guessed it, John McCain – see Military Commissions Act.
I wish I was making THIS one up.

McCain and his fellow prisoners suffered terribly in the prison camp. In the crowd at yesterday’s rally in Greenville was retired Adm. Robert Fuller, who was in prison with McCain at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”

No relation to Paris Hilton but it was a good place to see stars.

Fuller, who lives in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., spoke informally of the despair of living in single cells,

Even worse than being limited to a single house!

Where the only form of contact was by an ingenious code devised by the prisoners

(IG-Pay ATIN-Lay).

Fuller said prisoners were sometimes tortured

(see *non-torture above)

for as many as six days. When they returned, he said, the others would send messages of support by tapping on the wall.

Tapping courtesy of AT&T.

“They would be put in ropes for six days, and they would confess,” Fuller said. “When they came back to their cell, guys would tap on the wall, `We love you. I wish we could give you a hug.’ ”

McCain was already pandering to the San Francisco vote.

The horrors of the past cannot be an excuse for hurting people in the present, said Guy Aoki, president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, an anti-defamation group
This guy’s not going to be invited on the Straight Talk Express.
“If Sen. McCain had been captured by Nigerians, could he call those people `niggers’ and think he wasn’t going to offend everyone who is black?” Akoi asked. “We can all feel for what he went through, but if that’s his level of sensitivity, I’m very disappointed.”

You’re such a sensitika, Aoki (if that’s your real name). It’s not like McCain climbed in a gutter and accused you of trying to lose a war.

McCain usually treats his experience as a prisoner of war as a terrible time in his life, but a period he has moved beyond. At times, he even uses it as a punch line for jokes.

Or to explain his Economic policies.
McCain is the Popeil Pocket POW.

At a pancake breakfast recently, he said he had gone with his daughter to the MTV Music Awards, “and that was the greatest assault on my senses since I was in prison.”

All night, the North Vietnamese forced him to listen to the Tony Orlando and Dawn version of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Old Oak Tree” - the rest is obvious history. No wonder he broke!

Yesterday’s comments made it clear that McCain had neither forgotten, nor forgiven, his captors.

Except for the Communist Christian Oxymoronic guard who drew the cross in the sand (or dirt) with a sandal (or stick) for McCain -  and his cell mates, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Chuck Colson.

“I will call right now, my interrogator that tortured me, a gook,” McCain said.

To be fair, the interrogator’s actual name is “Benny Gook.”

"(I can’t believe that) anybody doesn’t believe these interrogators and prison guards were cruel and sadistic people who deserve the worst appellations possible.”

(See George Bush, Dick Chaney and Michael Mukasey)

McCain said he does not consider the comment an epithet.
“Gook,” he said, “is the kindest appellation I can give.”

Next time Senator, try using the word “Vietnamese.”  
As it turns out, it was their country you were bombing.
Who knew?

Originally posted to wbramh on Fri Aug 22, 2008 at 08:17 PM PDT.

Poll

Is McCain an Elite, condescending little racist?

16%6 votes
10%4 votes
5%2 votes
43%16 votes
24%9 votes

| 37 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Ouch, not a single comment... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pd, NJTpkExit9

    Here's a rec for posting a for real diary - a rarity today.

  •  Bomb, bomb, bombbomb Iran (0+ / 0-)

    The definition of "gooks" is actually not just North Vietnamese jailers.  It's actually people that you drop bombs on.  

    That's why you have to hate them, see?  Otherwise why would you be dropping bombs on them.   As a professor once told me, this definition is perfectly circular, therefore perfectly correct.  Gooks are the people you bomb, so you hate them.  It works both ways--when you drop bombs on them, frequently they don't like it, so therefore the prison camps, torture, and so on.  Perfectly circular again.  

    So what?  Well, that means that you can bomb anyone you please, because they are gooks by definition.  The whole damned world can be gooks if you like--just drop bombs on them, and presto--mutual hatred.  

    Of course, it works best with brown people.  Because they are different than us, you see.  Gooks must be different than us, so we don't bomb ourselves, but otherwise, it's fair game.  

    By the way.  Have you noticed that that Obama guy is kinda brown?  Different than us?  Mr. McCain mentions it frequently.  

    How many wrongs does it take to make a right?

    by pdknz on Fri Aug 22, 2008 at 09:17:07 PM PDT

  •  Great line (0+ / 0-)

    I

    it’s actually a Transformer that turns into a private jet – not the bus – Cindy.

    Great diary.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site