Sunday, October 08, 2006

Senator Macaca - More Witnesses to His Racism

Daily Progress: Never say 'never'

In the 27 years that I’ve known him, I can say I have not heard him utter the n-word, but I cannot automatically dismiss or ignore the three current and former Charlottesville residents who swear to me that they heard him use it often.

One is a doctor, one is a nurse and one is retired and a former classmate of mine at the University of Virginia during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Only the former classmate does not wish to be named because a close relative works at a high level in the Bush administration.

To put their recollections in some context, the alleged usage was in the 1972-1975 period when Allen was a UVa quarterback and then a UVa law student.

Yes, that’s more than 30 years ago, but never is a longer time.

The nurse who said she heard Allen’s use of the n-word, who agreed to be identified by a maiden name of Leah Deason, lived then in a house on Route 20 near the Key West subdivision. She and her housemates, including a UVa jock or two, often hosted poker games.

“He just threw it around so casually, it’s like he didn’t know any better,” she said. In poker games, “whenever he’d get a black card that he didn’t like, he would refer to it as a ‘nig--- card’ he needed to get rid of,” said Deason, a registered nurse and widow of a UVa faculty member. “Allen was in law school at the time,” she said.

Why would she bring up such a thing now and notify a reporter? “What infuriated me was the way he got up there and flat out lied about it,” she said.

The former classmate attended the same poker parties and recalled the same language from the then-law student. “It was part of his everyday speech,” he said. “It just rolled off his tongue. He’d get a black card he didn’t like and he’d toss it back and say, ‘I don’t need that nig--- ten.’”

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