Monday September 25, 2006
George Allen is a Republican U.S. Senator from Virginia. He was govenor of Virginia and is (was) a leading candidate for the Republican nomimation for President in 2008. But it looks like he is a racist - a problem endemic to the Republican Party (remember Strom Thurmond and Senator Trent Lott?) In the last few days these items have been reported:
* At a campaign rally Allen referred to a young Democratic operative of Indian-American descent as macaca and welcomed him to America. Macaca is a racist slur derived from the name of a species of monkey. Mr. Allen apologized for any offense and said he had just made the word up. Question: How do you just make up a word that is exactly like an existing word, both in meaning and pronunciation? Just a bizarre coincidence or a lie?
* During a debate with his opponent, Jim Webb, Allen denied that his mother had been raised Jewish, saying "my mother is French-Italian with a little Spanish blood in her. And I've been raised as she was, as far as I know, raised as a Christian." This despite the fact that his mother had publicly stated the week before that she had been raised Jewish in her native Tunisia. Just a memory lapse or a lie? Allen also said "I still had a ham sandwich for lunch. And my mother made great pork chops." Just grossly insensitive or anti-semetic?
* As governor of Virginia, Allen signed a 'Confederate Heritage Month' proclamation while dubbing the NAACP an 'extremist group.'
* In his law office he displayed a noose hanging from a tree. No more needed on this one.
* Christopher Taylor, an anthropology professor at Alabama University, claimed that in the early 1980s he heard Mr. Allen use an inflammatory epithet for African Americans.
* Dr. Ken Shelton, a former football teammate of Allen at the University of Virginia who is white, said that in college in the early 1970s Allen had used the same term often. Dr. Shelton said Allen had told him that he moved to Virginia ''because the blacks know their place."
Why vote for a racist favorite of the Republican party when you have an alternative - a decent, smart, experienced, serious Democrat, Jim Webb?