In Latest Claim Of Racist Tendencies, Three Football Teammates Say Allen Used "N-word" In College
The claims of questionably racist actions by Sen. George Allen (R-VA) continues to grow.
This question of whether Allen had racist tendencies has been bubbling under the surface. But everything changed last month, when Allen used the word "macaca" to describe a man of Indian descent who was tracking his campaign for Democratic rival Jim Webb -- a slur that can mean "shithead."
Now, a lot of people -- Virginia voters included -- are re-examining the "good ol' boy" stories, and like a poorly made suit, the threads are unraveling rapidly. Allen has a law degree; he must realize that the evidence is mounting against him.
The latest claim of Allen's "racism" comes from three former teammates of Allen's at the University of Virginia, who told the liberal online journal Salon that Allen "repeatedly used" the "N-word" and demonstrated racist attitudes toward black Americans during the early 1970s.
"Allen said he came to Virginia because he wanted to play football in a place where 'blacks knew their place,'" Dr. Ken Shelton, a white radiologist in North Carolina who played tight end for the University of Virginia football team when Allen was quarterback, told Salon. "He used the N-word on a regular basis back then."
Shelton said Allen also nicknamed him the "Wizard," because he shared the name of a prominent Klansman.
Two other teammates spoke on condition of anonymity.
One agreed Allen used the "N-word" to describe black Americans. "It was so common with George when he was among his white friends. This is the terminology he used."
"My impression of him was that he was a racist," the other teammate said.
As JABBS noted last week, Allen tried to shrug off the questionably racist things on his resume to NBC's Tim Russert, suggesting those were "rebellious, anti-establishment" things he did as "a kid" -- even though such episodes occurred well after Allen turned 40.
-- He was 25 when he opened a law office in Charlottesville, Va., in which he kept a noose -- a symbol to many people of a time when black Americans were lynched.
-- He was at least 25 when he had a confederate flag displayed in his living room.
-- He was 32 when he opposed a state holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
-- He was 41 when he issued a proclamation honoring Confederate History Month.
-- He was at least 41, and perhaps as old as 46, when he kept a picture of Confederate troops in his governor’s office.
Now comes word that Allen allegedly used the "N-word" when he was 20 or 21.
Should Virginians -- left and right -- overlook the obvious?
Certainly, conservatives don't want Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) to forget his less than one-year stint in the Ku Klux Klan when he was about 26. Byrd is now 88.
Byrd's stint in the KKK was inexcusable, one that he has lived with and says he regretted. "I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. ... I can't erase what happened," Byrd told the Washington Post last year.
You don't see a lot of people on the left defending Byrd's decision to join the KKK in the 1940s. I'd bet that if a poll were taken of Democrats nationwide, they'd have wanted Byrd out of national politics long ago. It's hard to forgive such a stupid decision, even 63 years after the fact.
But while conservatives continue to crack jokes at Byrd's expense, many want to give Allen a free pass.
Virginians may not be as kind this November.