Wednesday, September 27, 2006

George Allen May Have Used the "H" Word

Former teammates recall Allen calling them "honkey."

Allen and a supporter arrogantly not disclosing Jewish lineage.

"He mocked me while speaking with a nasal voice, clumsy dancing and telling me 'to get a tan.' The final straw was the boxes of crackers he would leave on my doorsteps to intimidate me. It was horrifying" recalls former team member.

Police are investigating the cracker incident as a hate crime.

Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), stopped short of asking Senator Allen (R-VA) to resign, but called for common sense measures such as forced Republican blood analysis to determine racial heritage, polygraphs testing, and truth commissions.

Reid defends blood testing saying, "After all, there very well may be
other Jews in Congress."


Anonymous William Kristol said...

9/28/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Anonymous George Allen's Mom said...

Unraveling Allen

By Eugene Robinson, Wash. Post
Friday, September 29, 2006; Page A21

Boy, talk about stepping in a pile of macaca.

Every political campaign frog-marches the candidate through a process of self-discovery, but this is getting ridiculous. Sen. George Allen of Virginia was supposed to coast to reelection this November, then start polishing his cowboy boots for a presidential run. Instead the political world is asking aloud whether he's remotely ready for prime time -- and the senator himself has got to be pondering questions of a more existential nature.

First came the "macaca" incident, in which he referred to a young man of Indian descent with a word that might be some kind of exotic ethnic slur (as Allen's opponents claim) or innocent nonsense (as Allen now maintains, after a few false starts), but sure didn't sound like a compliment. Scrambling to limit the damage threw Allen, whose natural walk is a college quarterback's swagger, off his stride.

Then he had to deal with the revelation that his maternal grandparents were Jewish, which means his mother is Jewish, which means -- what, that Allen is Jewish, too? The answer depends on whether you consider Jewishness (which is matrilineal) to be a matter of ethnicity, religion, culture, history or perhaps even choice. If you accept Allen's assurance that he never had an inkling -- which suggests a pretty incurious nature, but never mind -- then his self-image must have been smitten and his self-confidence sent reeling.

That's what it looked like, at least. By his own account he had a month to prepare for the question of his family history, if anyone ever were to raise it. But when the question came, he was wholly unprepared, as if he hadn't taken the time to process this new information about himself. He bristled, then later softened. He fiercely protected his mother, as any son should. He spoke of his respect for his newfound Jewish heritage but also talked about how much he loves eating a variety of pork products.

I think it's safe to say that the man was a tad conflicted.

What could possibly happen next? The joke in my office was that the only thing left was for a black ancestor to surface.

Not exactly, as it turned out.

What surfaced instead was a story in the cybermagazine quoting three of Allen's college football teammates as saying that back in the early 1970s, they heard Allen frequently use the unforgivable racial slur that has come to be known by the too-cute euphemism "the N-word." One former teammate claimed Allen was then such a racist that he stuffed a severed deer head into the mailbox of a black family, in an echo of "The Godfather."

Allen angrily called the whole story "absolutely false" and said he never recalled using the N-word slur. His campaign produced other teammates who defended him and attacked the accusers. Then Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia professor who is frequently quoted as an authority on politics -- and who was in school with Allen -- went on MSNBC's "Hardball" and said that Allen did too use the racial slur, though he later acknowledged that he was relying on hearsay.

Now, instead of cruising to victory, Allen is locked in a tight battle with Democrat James Webb. Perhaps helpfully for Allen, Webb now has an N-word problem of his own -- he can't deny having used it, which amounts to an admission.

But Allen brings unhelpful baggage to this "he said, he said" controversy. In the past he has had to try to explain his love of the Confederate flag, which is unusual for a man who was born in California, and also the fact that he used to keep a hangman's noose in his office. In my book, those would be strikes one and two.

It should be noted that Allen has already spoken words of contrition and atonement for past racial insensitivities. Earlier this month, in a speech to officials from historically black colleges and universities, Allen acknowledged that he was "slow to appreciate" why black Americans were not fond of the Confederate flag. He said that over the past three years he has come to understand "just how completely different, and incredibly difficult, the journey traveled by African Americans has been in this country."

This is a grown man speaking, a grown man who went to college and now sits in the United States Senate. If you take Allen at his word, then I suppose you could say better late than never. But it's hard to put unalloyed faith in the word of a man who, in every sense, seems to know so very little about himself.

9/29/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger f mcdonald said...

Well, you can always vote for Jimmuh Webb. Maybe he'll take you cruising in Watts with an empty rifle.

10/06/2006 02:41:00 PM  

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