It's interesting that, after a week with the spotlight turned on Lowell and Josh at Raising Kaine, the tone from that site seems to have changed. Lowell's posts have suddenly become more focused on policy, and Brian has risen to the top once again for analysis. I wonder if there have been certain mandates handed down from the campaign for the site to "cool down" the rhetoric. It certainly seems so. And if so, it's a good move. Brian is respectable, and I doubt if he can be as nasty as Lowell even if he tried to be.
That said, let's look at Brian's analysis of the Salon article by Michael Scherer. The article in question examines the charge by one former UVA teammate of Allen's that he was a racist in college, regularily using the common racial epithet of the day. This former teammate also charges that Allen used the occasion of a hunting outing to place a severed deer head in the mailbox of a black family in the area.
Brian uses a carefully selected section of the article to portray Allen as a racist. The Salon article itself waits until very late in the piece before you get to this paragraph;
Over the past week, Salon has interviewed 19 former teammates and college friends of Allen from the University of Virginia. In addition to the three who said Allen used the word "nigger," two others who were contacted said they remember being bothered by Allen's displaying the Confederate flag in college, but said they do not remember him acting in an overtly racist manner. Seven others said they did not know Allen well outside the football team, but do not remember Allen demonstrating any racist feelings. A separate seven teammates and friends said they knew Allen well and did not believe he held racist views. "I don't believe he was insensitive," said Paul Ryczek, who played center in Allen's year before joining the Atlanta Falcons. "He had no prejudices, biases or anything else."
After reading that paragraph we now know that some of Allen's teammates are willing to go on record saying he was a racist while in college. But wait, only one is named. And that one has a long history of Democratic activism and Party loyalty.
So we have Dr. Ken Shelton calling Allen a racist. But we also have 16 former teammates who dispute that claim. Salon did not bother to name the other 16 players, but I will name four of them.
George Korte, linebacker on the University of Virginia football team from 1970 through 1973
"Contrary to Ken Shelton, I have kept up with George Allen the past thirty-five years. During this time, I have never known or heard him use racial epithets to describe blacks either in public or private.
"Specific items in the article that are not true are as follows:
1. As stated above, George Allen did not use racial epithets or demonstrate racist attitudes towards blacks in the early 1970s.
2. George came to University of Virginia because his father became the head coach of the Washington Redskins. Instead of continuing his undergraduate education at UCLA, he transferred to be closer to his family. He came to University of Virginia to attend one of the top public Universities in the nation not as the article states “because he wanted to play football in a place where 'blacks knew their place'.
3. Many of the nicknames used to describe the players were not given by George. Mine was Tez. I received this nickname because a coach mispronounced my name as Cortez. This resulted in my nickname given to me from another linebacker. Ken Shelton received his nickname because of his ability as a tight end to magically get open and catch the football not because he shared someone’s last name.
"It appears to me that Kenny Shelton has some deep rooted problems with his self identity and a rather hyper active imagination."
Doug Jones, defensive back on the University of Virginia football team 1971 thru 1974 and roomed with Ken Shelton in his second year
"I was on the University of Virginia football team with George Allen for the 1972 and 1973 seasons. During that time 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.
"He was a scholar-athlete and a leader. I was proud to be his teammate."
Joe Gieck, the University of Virginia football team trainer for 43 years and a professor in sports medicine; he retired in 2005
"I seem to recall that Ken Shelton got the 'Wizard' nickname for his pass catching ability and before George Allen came to the University of Virginia."
Charlie Hale, center on the University of Virginia football team from 1970 through 1973
"I received an athletic scholarship and attended the University of Virginia from 1972 till 1977. I was a member of the football team and met George Allen in 1972. During my first year the position I played was center and Senator Allen was a quarterback. Neither Senator Allen nor I were on the starting team and our job was to run the opposition offense for our starting defense to prepare for upcoming games. It was during this time we became close personal friends.
"When I was being recruited by UVA, the head coach Don Lawrence, informed me and my family that we would have a new quarterback, it was the son of Coach George Allen who was going to be taking over as head coach of the Washington Redskins. The reason that Senator Allen came to Virginia to play football from UCLA was the fact that he was very close to his father, loved professional football and wanted to be near his family who would be living in Leesburg, Virginia.
"Senator Allen and I were team mates for a period of two years 1972 and 1973 when he finished undergraduate school and then he attended law school also at UVA. We have maintained a close friendship now for 34 years. In the summer of 1976 we spent 6 weeks together driving and camping across the United States to visit his home and family in California. After graduation from law school at UVA the Senator worked in Abingdon, Virginia as a law clerk, and I lived in Grundy, Virginia we continued to see each other and go hunting.
"In 1988 I returned to UVA for a celebration marking 100 years of football at the school. I had been living in the western US since 1978 and we renewed our friendship. He took me home with him that night where I was to meet his wife Susan. Since that time we have remained close personal friends.
"During the 34 years I have known George Allen I have never heard him use racial slurs or derogatory language to describe a person or group of persons.
"Ken Shelton is a close personal friend of mine for the same period of time I have known Senator Allen. Ken was and still remains an amazing athlete, he is one who contained the 'complete package' height, speed, toughness, coupled with an uncanny ability to block, run and catch the football. I lived in the same apartment with him for two years (1973 and 1974) and got to know him very well. I have always known him by the nickname, 'Wizard'. I have always thought the name came from his ability to catch passes (like the day against the Naval Academy when he caught 3 for touchdowns) or his ability to somehow get open in the field. Personally I believe that he was a true 'Wizard' because he always had the ability to sneak out after curfew and never get caught."