The evidence continues to mount that Virginia Senator George Allen is both a racist and a liar. Another former football teammate has come out from behind the wall of anonymity and confirmed that Allen used racial slurs in college.
In additions, confirmations have poured in from around the country from those who knew Allen in his college days and on the campaign trail: All say Allen used racial epithets.
The Senator, however, continues to claim he never, ever, used racial slurs and his campaign has tried to smear anyone who confirms that he did.
Writes Michael Scherer in Salon:
A former football teammate of Sen. George Allen decided Friday to go on the record with recollections of the Virginia Republican’s alleged racist behavior during college.
Edward J. Sabornie, a special education professor at North Carolina State University, had previously spoken to Salon about Allen’s behavior on the condition of anonymity, because he feared retribution from the Allen campaign. In a Salon story on Sunday, Sabornie was quoted as a "teammate" who remembered Allen using 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," Sabornie said in that article.
Sabornie said he has now decided to let his name be known because he was upset by how Allen responded this week to the Salon story. "What George said on Monday really kind of inflamed me — that it was ‘ludicrously false’ that he ever used the n-word," Sabornie told Salon. "I don’t know how George can look himself in the mirror after saying that."
Besides his teammates, University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato says students at the school told him of Allen’s racism. Capitol Hill Blue publisher Doug Thompson, who worked as a Republican political operative in Washington in the 1980s and early 90s, detailed occasions where he personally heard Allen refer to Afro-Americans as "niggers." Allen’s campaign tried to plant a story with mainstream media questioning Thompson’s GOP campaign credentials but the smear tactic failed when reporters confirmed Thompson’s past work with the party (Thompson worked for three GOP congressmen and a number of campaigns for the Republican party as well as two national party committees. He detailed that history in a Friday column).
"I can look back at my years in politics and be truly ashamed of what I did in the name of a political party and its self-serving causes," Thompson wrote. "Those years in politics allowed me to better understand why things happen in politics and the government that the political system controls. It’s a corrupt system driven by greed and a lust for power. It’s a system that must be changed if America is to survive."
In his last election campaign, Allen received 17 percent of the Afro-American vote in Virginia, an unusually high percentage for a Republican. Political strategists find it ironic that the Senator has been able to attract such votes even though he one proudly displayed a Confederate flag in his office along with a hangman’s noose, a reminder — some say — of the days when Afro-Americans were routinely hanged by white supremists.
But Allen also receives large majorities of votes in rural areas like Franklin County, Virginia, where the Ku Klux Klan is still active and holds a half-dozen rallies a year at Burnt Chimney, not far from the birthplace of Booker T. Washington.
Others who have come forward confirm that Senator Allen is lying when he claims he never used racial slurs.
"Having worked on the French Slaughter congressional campaign out of an office located in the basement of George Allen’s law office in Charlottesville, I find your recollections, as well as those of Larry Sabato and Allen’s former teammate fully consonant with my experiences as a grass roots volunteer in 1984," says Scott Pickus.
Many who contacted Capitol Hill Blue asked that their names not be used because they feared becoming targets of the Allen campaign smear machine.
"It is obvious that the man will do anything to keep his job," one said. "That’s just the kind of behavior I would expect from a racist. I don’t want to be on his hit list."