It’s a historic day in Virginia, as George Allen attempts to win back the Senate seat that he lost to Jim Webb, an unknown challenger who was drafted by bloggers to run and came back from down by 20%+ to knock off the incumbent.
The first step is getting past Senator Bob Marshall, a socially conservative state Senator, and the head of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots, Jamie Radke. Allen is expected to breeze past both of them, and will face former Governor Tim Kaine in the general election.
I’ve always thought that the Macaca thing was a bit overblown.
Not because it wasn’t offensive and obnoxious, but because George Allen has done much worse! Here’s a quick rundown:
1) Cut off a doe’s head and asked his friends, “Where do the black people live?” and then put it in a black family’s mailbox. Today, this would be a hate crime.
2) Used the n-word repeatedly in the presence of a nurse
3) Used the n-word around a black college teammate, who he also told that he moved to Virginia “because the blacks know their place.”
4) Used the n-word it while buying a puppy, in reference to the consumption of turtles. Excerpt: "I asked him about waterfowl landing at the lake," Taylor recalled. "He said if they hatched out into ducklings, they would all get attacked by the big turtles. I said, 'Why don't you kill and eat these turtles?' He said: 'We don't eat them. The [epithets] eat them.'”
5) Accused by respected Virginia professor of using the n-word.
6) When asked if he had Jewish ancestry at a 2006 debate, Allen “recoiled as if he had been struck” and accused the questioner of “casting aspersions.”
And many more!
There are many Southern politicians who were racists when they were young. If they’ve changed and they admit it, then I think we can forgive them. There’s something great about a redemption story, and when public figures change for the better, it inspires others to do so.
The problem is that George Allen has never admitted anything. His 2011 apology failed to acknowledge any past racism. He’ll face a tough race in 2012 with massive African American turnout in Virginia along with an immigrant population in Northern Virginia that has grown quite a bit since he uttered “Macaca."