Third person says Sen. Allen used racial slur
A noted political scientist joined two of Sen. George Allen's former acquaintances in claiming the senator used a racial slur to refer to...
RICHMOND, Va. — A noted political scientist joined two of Sen. George Allen's former acquaintances in claiming the senator used a racial slur to refer to blacks in the early 1970s, a claim Allen dismisses as "ludicrously false."
Larry Sabato, one of Virginia's most-quoted political-science professors and a classmate of Allen's in the early 1970s, said in a televised interview Monday that Allen used the "n-word."
Earlier, Dr. Ken Shelton — a radiologist who played football with Allen at the University of Virginia in the early 1970s — said Allen not only used the slur frequently but also once stuffed a severed deer head into a black family's mailbox.
And Christopher Taylor, 59, an anthropologist at the University of Alabama, said that during a visit to Allen's Charlottesville house in 1982, Allen pointed to turtles in a pond on his property and said only "the [n-words] eat them."
Christopher LaCivita, an Allen strategist, said the senator "has never heard of [Taylor]. This guy is not credible."
LaCivita said Allen and Sabato were not friends nor did they associate with each other in college. "Larry is obviously relying on words he heard from someone else," he said.
Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, would not say how he knew Allen used the slur. He told Chris Matthews on MSNBC that he did not know whether it was true that Allen used the word frequently.
"I'm simply going to stay with what I know is the case, and the fact is he did use the n-word, whether he's denying it or not," Sabato said.
However, Tuesday, Sabato acknowledged he has never directly heard Allen use the slur.
Questions about racial insensitivity have dogged Allen, a Republican, during his race against Democrat Jim Webb.
Allen's use of the word "macaca" in referring to a Webb campaign volunteer of Indian descent in August prompted an outcry. The word denotes a genus of monkeys and, in some cultures, is considered an ethnic slur. But the senator insisted he did not know that and had simply made up the word.
During a debate last week, Allen bristled at questions about his Jewish ancestry. He later acknowledged publicly for the first time that his grandfather was Jewish.
Allen vehemently denied that he used the n-word. "The story and his comments and assertions in there are completely false," he said. "I don't remember ever using that word, and it is absolutely false that that was ever part of my vocabulary."
Shelton said the incident with the deer head occurred during their college days when he and Allen were hunting near Bumpass, Va. Shelton said Allen asked where black families lived in the area, then stuffed a deer's head into the mailbox of one of the homes.
"George insisted on taking the severed head, and I was a little shocked by that," he said.
Other former teammates of Allen's rushed to his defense.
Charlie Hale, an Allen campaign volunteer, said that he had hunted often with Allen, and "there was not even a rumor on the team" about the alleged deer incident.
Doug Jones, another Allen campaign volunteer, said, "I never heard George Allen use any racially disparaging word, nor did I ever witness or hear about him acting in a racially insensitive manner."
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