Sen. George Allen and the “M” word

September 26, 2006 | By | Reply More

“Macaca,” that is. 

Salon.com is reporting that Sen. George Allen is denying the claims in a separate Salon article by three of Allen’s former football teammates that Allen used a racial epithet and demonstrated racist behavior during college.

Within hours of Allen’s denial, though, two additional acquaintances of Allen’s had come forward to claim that they knew Allen had uttered the word “nigger.” 

The New York Times, the New Republic and the Post reported that Christopher Taylor, an anthropology professor in Alabama, said Allen used the word in the early 1980s when Taylor visited a pond near Allen’s then home in Virginia. Taylor told the news outlets that Allen had spoken of turtles in the pond, saying, “Around here” the only people who “eat ’em” are black, whom Allen described using the racial epithet.

Allen brought all of this on himself, of course.  Apparently, all of this couldn’t have happened to a more bigotted guy.  As reported by Think Progress:

At an August 11 event, Sen. George Allen (R-VA) ridiculed a South Asian-American man who worked for his political opponent. In front of a large audience, Allen called S.R. Sidarth “macaca” (a racial slur), and said to Sidarth, who was born and raised in Virginia, “Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia!”

You can view Allen’s bizarre (August 11, 2006) speech here.  I cringe every time I hear it.  Note, especially, Allen’s opening line:  “My friends, we’re going to run this campaign on constructive positive ideas. “

How bad is it getting for Allen, whose double digit lead over Democrat challenger Jim Webb has evaporatedThis bad, according to Salon.com:   

On Sunday, Salon reported that Shelton said he remembered several incidents of Allen’s racist behavior during their college days, in addition to Allen’s use of the epithet. Shelton said Allen told him that he preferred Virginia to California because “blacks knew their place” in Virginia. He said Allen gave him the nickname “Wizard” because Shelton shared a last name with Robert Shelton, who served in the 1960s as the imperial wizard of the United Klans of America….

So what about damage control?  According to Salon, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has described the recollections in the Salon article as “scurrilous charges.”

Curious, I looked up the word “scurrilous.”  Here what I found at dictionary.com:

1. grossly or obscenely abusive: a scurrilous attack on the mayor.
2. characterized by or using low buffoonery; coarsely jocular or derisive: a scurrilous jest.

Interesting, how something can be “scurrilous” without being false.  That choice of word says volumes.

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Category: American Culture, Bigotry, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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