John McCain’s Racism

This is a short (3:40) and powerful interview with Irwin Tang, author of “Gook: John McCain’s Racism and Why It Matters”:

In this clip, Tang explains that “gook” is always a term of war and violence, first used against Haitians. The times he says that he has been called this epithet are the times when he is being physically threatened by people. Why is this man seen as a viable candidate for president?


  1. Joe

    Wikipedia has this explanation of where the “the only good X is a dead X” racist statements originally came from: “There is an anecdote told concerning [General Phil] Sheridan during his campaign against the Indians. Comanche Chief Tosawi, or Silver Knife, reputedly told Sheridan in 1869, “Me Tosawi. Me good Indian,” to which Sheridan is said to have replied, “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.” This was then misquoted as “The only good Indian is a dead Indian”. Sheridan later denied he had made the statement to Tosawi. Earlier that year, on May 28, Rep. James M. Cavanaugh said in the House, “I have never seen in my life a good Indian … except when I have seen a dead Indian.”

    This idea of killing and racist commentary goes back at least to the anti-Indian genocides.

  2. adia

    Here’s a link to a story about John McCain’s use of this racist slur: This is the ONLY story I’ve seen about this in the mainstream media, and note that it has not been picked up by the Post, Times, only one minor regional news outlet. Had Barack Obama used this term, is there any question that we’d be seeing constant footage of it on every station?


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