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John Kerry Smacks Down George Allen for Divisive Comments

by Pamela Leavey

Last night at an Indian-American Community Event that was closed to the press event, John Kerry held George Allen accountable for his divisive, bigoted comments made last week. Kerry said, “We need to stop the politics of name-calling and division that push us apart and separate us.”

Here’s the partial transcript of Kerry’s comments about George Allen, from the closed to press event, as released to The Democratic Daily:

“It was so disappointing to hear one of my colleagues make comments that have no place in Virginia, no place in our country, and certainly no place in the United States Senate. George Allen singled out a lone Indian-American college student for ridicule in front of a crowd of mostly white voters. After using a word I won’t repeat, he added insult to injury when he said: “Welcome to America.”

Well, to Senator Allen I think it’s time we said ‘welcome to the twenty first century’ where slurs and slights aren’t a laughing matter. Welcome to a new day where we refuse to accept insults made about Indian-Americans that, if we heard them about African Americans or Jews or Hispanics, would be the end of a political career.

Welcome to our America, where immigration is a source of pride and not a punch line. Welcome to a politics where a young Indian American born in Fairfax Virginia can tell a US Senator: “I’m just as American as you are.” And welcome to Virginia where it’s clear some Republicans need reminding about the “truths” a real Virginian—Thomas Jefferson– wrote were “self evident” two hundred thirty years ago. And if you ever want a test of whether Republicans are ashamed of George Allen or just embarrassed by him, it comes on November 7th when we have a chance to say ‘welcome to the United States Senate– to his Democratic opponent, Jim Webb.’

We need to stop the politics of name-calling and division that push us apart and separate us. These times we live in are too important for that kind of distraction from what counts most. This is a time for leadership, and this is a time for truth. It’s no accident that the first words of our first declaration as a free nation were “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” and truth remains America’s bottom line.” – John Kerry

If the Republican’s don’t get why their financial edge is shrinking, they are missing the point that Americans get that the “first words of our first declaration as a free nation were “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” and truth remains America’s bottom line.” The time for divisive politics has never been so glaringly clear.

3 Responses to “John Kerry Smacks Down George Allen for Divisive Comments”

  1. I hope this gets spread around Virginia. Allen’s ‘explanation’ of the incident was that he was just ‘making up a nickname’ for the guy. If Mr Allen was a gentleman, he would have asked for the persons real name, and possibly where he was from. At which point he would have learned the young man had been born in Virginia. Allen was not.

    This brings to mind a similar incident at some point prior to Katrina. A DC FEMA representative ( or other agency involved in disaster preparedness) was in Louisianna on an exercise/workshop with state and local agencies as well as scholars, on the potential of a Cat 5 Hurricane hitting the area. The levee damage and all the consequential problems were being considered for what would be needed afterwords. A University professor who had worked extensively on computer projections suggested having military style tents to put up. The DC woman looked at him and replied “Americans don’t live in tents”.

    The professor is of Indian descent, may have immigrated but I don’t remember for sure. Regardless, he had been living in the area and working on the problem for over a decade. The tent option could have been quite useful for the long interval when damage assessment would give the victims and authorities time to decide who could return and who would be displaced for an unknown length of time. Then the relocation efforts would have been less frantic, more organized and logical. A tremendous amount of trauma would have been mitigated.

    But some snotty American could not fathom the workability of a ‘low tech’ suggestion – probably because it came from someone who looked foreign.

  2. I discovered the following on the web: “George Allen is credited with beginning a Virginia Republican renaissance when he started as a prohibitive underdog and defeated Mary Sue Terry, an established, well-financed Democrat, to take back the governor’s office in 1993 for the GOP after 12 years of Democratic control.”

    …nice story, but it obscures a deeper, more disturbing truth. We all remember Mary Sue Terry’s lead in the polls … and soon before the election, your more irresponsible news outlets were publicizing a story spread by an obscure psychiatrist named William Gray. Gray was claiming that once upon a time he had treated a “lesbian lover” of the Attorney General’s, someone he said later committed suicide. Pressed for details to back up his story, Gray took the opportunity to claim “doctor/patient confidentiality”(!). What was less publicized was the fact that Gray had lost his medical license in California owing to allegations of child molestation, charges that would be repeated after he set up shop in Virginia. When Mary Sue Terry learned of the case, she was publicly outraged at the lack of communication between state medical boards. In short, Dr. Gray had an ax to grind.

    I’ve personally seen no evidence whatsoever of any communication between the Allen campaign and Gray (on the other hand, I’ve never really looked). What is beyond doubt, however, is that George Allen benefited to no small degree by this explosive rumor circulated by an enemy of his opponent. And what happened to Gray? He relocated to the Philippines following Allen’s victory. His act of petty vengeange, in my view, was more instrumental in George Allen’s rise than the efforts of such state media figures as Ross Mackenzie and Forrest Landon combined.

  3. Pablo Schwartz,

    Very interesting comment. It is still in moderation because we do ask that you provide a link to the source you quote.

    Thanks.