Sunday, September 24, 2006

What Senator Allen said before Macaca

This from Salon. The article speaks for itself.
Three former college football teammates of Sen. George Allen say that the Virginia Republican repeatedly used an inflammatory racial epithet and demonstrated racist attitudes toward blacks during the early 1970s.

"Allen said he came to Virginia because he wanted to play football in a place where 'blacks knew their place,'" said Dr. Ken Shelton, a white
radiologist in North Carolina who played tight end for the University of Virginia football team when Allen was quarterback. "He used the N-word on a
regular basis back then."

A second white teammate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retribution from the Allen campaign, separately claimed that Allen used the word "nigger" to describe blacks. "It was so common with George when he was among his white friends. This is the terminology he used," the teammate said.

A third white teammate contacted separately, who also spoke on
condition of anonymity out of fear of being attacked by the Virginia senator,
said he too remembers Allen using the word "nigger," though he said he could not
recall a specific conversation in which Allen used the term. "My impression of
him was that he was a racist," the third teammate said.

Shelton also told Salon that the future senator gave him the nickname
"Wizard," because he shared a last name with Robert Shelton, who served in the
1960s as the imperial wizard of the United Klans of America, a group affiliated
with the Ku Klux Klan. The radiologist said he decided earlier this year that he
would go public with his concerns about Allen if a reporter ever called. About
four months ago, when he heard that Allen was a possible candidate for president
in 2008, Shelton began to write down some of the negative memories of his former teammate. He provided Salon excerpts of those notes last week.

Shelton played football with Allen in the 1972 and 1973 seasons,
according to the team media guides from those years. Shelton remembers Allen's
attitudes about race surfacing early in their relationship. At one point,
Shelton says, Allen nicknamed him "Wizard," after United Klans imperial wizard
Robert Shelton. "He asked me if I was related at all," Shelton remembers. "I
knew of that name, and I said absolutely not." Several former teammates
confirmed that Shelton's team nickname was "Wizard," though no one contacted by Salon could confirm firsthand knowledge of the handle's origin. "Everyone called me 'Wizard' that knows me from those days," said Shelton. "My nickname stuck."

Shelton said he also remembers a disturbing deer hunting trip with
Allen on land that was owned by the family of Billy Lanahan, a wide receiver on
the team. After they had killed a deer, Shelton said he remembers Allen asking
Lanahan where the local black residents lived. Shelton said Allen then drove the
three of them to that neighborhood with the severed head of the deer. "He
proceeded to take the doe's head and stuff it into a mailbox," Shelton said.

You may read the entire article here.

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