George Allen’s casual racism also making comeback

"What position did you play," he asks a black man who didn't play sports

Topics: 2012 Elections, War Room, Race, Virginia,

George Allen's casual racism also making comebackGeorge Allen

The George Allen comeback is already off to a great start. The former Virginia governor and U.S. senator was once considered a credible presidential candidate, until he committed a “gaffe” by revealing himself to be an unreconstructed racist. Now he is back on the campaign trail, trying to win his old Senate seat. Today, he asked a tall black man, “What position did you play?” For the second time.

NBC4 reporter Craig Melvin was the subject of Allen’s friendly and racially insensitive questioning. Melvin did not play any sports, despite his height and ethnicity, so he probably did not have a “position.”

Allen “apologized” by saying he “[asks] people a lot if they played sports.” And I’m sure he does! His entire persona is basically defined by football and racism, so I have no doubt that he constantly asks tall black men, “What position did you play.”

Allen, a wealthy Californian of French/Jewish descent who pretends to be a redneck good ol’ boy, lost his 2006 reelection bid after he called a dark-skinned young man “macaca,” which turned out to be a semi-obscure French racial slur. Then, in a story first reported by Salon, various people who knew Allen revealed his lengthy history of saying horrible racist things, all the time.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 7
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Dinah Fried

    Famous literary meals

    "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson

    Dinah Fried

    Famous literary meals

    "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll

    Dinah Fried

    Famous literary meals

    "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville

    Dinah Fried

    Famous literary meals

    "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath

    Dinah Fried

    Famous literary meals

    "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

    Famous literary meals

    "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>