Video: Woman says Allen used racial slur

By MSNBC anchor
Hardball
updated 9/28/2006 6:40:54 PM ET 2006-09-28T22:40:54

Just six weeks before the congressional elections, Virginia's incumbent senator, George Allen, is now facing more charges that he used racial slurs.

Pat Waring, 75, of Chesterton, Md., first brought her story to MSNBC when she contacted us in a direct phone call.  We then conducted a series of interviews.   Waring says that at a sports match in the late 1970's, Allen repeatedly use the ‘n’ word to describe blacks.

"I just didn't think in the late 70's people would be so ugly and so overt about it and so public," Waring said.

Waring says that in 1978, she and her then-husband, Robert Michael Schwartz, had just moved to Charlottesville, Va.  Friends from the time confirm that Schwartz was a Ph.d. candidate at the University of Virginia, an avid rugby player and the volunteer coach of the school's rugby club team.

MSNBC has also confirmed Pat Waring worked in a doctor's office and came to some of the rugby games.  Waring says there is one game, from either the fall of 1978 or the spring of 1979 that she will never forget.

"I heard to my left, the ‘n’ word, and I heard it again, and I looked around and heard it again,” she said.  “And there was this fellow sitting on the ground.  He was putting on red rugby shoes, it is seared in my brain, believe me. And he was kind of showing off I guess, but he was telling a story about something or other and in the story was a lot of ‘n’ words.  So, I got out of the bleacher and I went over and I said young man, I am the coach's wife and if you don't mind, would you please not use that word.  And he in essence told me to buzz off.”

Waring said when she learned the man using the slurs was George Allen, son of the Washington Redskins coach, she was “crestfallen.”

“I thought, ‘My god this just can't be.  He can't just sit there in front of all of these people,’” Waring said.  “There were people all over the place.  And he was talking loudly or I never would have heard him."

Waring says the incident has stayed with her because of the ‘n’ word, because Allen's father had been coach of the Washington Redskins in the 1970's and because she is a lifelong Redskins fan.

There is more to the story.  A few weeks after the alleged incident at the rugby game, Waring says she and an elderly relative ran into Allen at a local fair.

“Loping across the field came this young man,” she said.  “And as I recall, he was politicking then and he shook my aunt's hand and I hadn't told her anything about this because she was so upsettable and such a sweet old lady that I wouldn't even want her to hear this ugly story  …When he got to me, he didn't recognize me.  And I did not shake his hand.  I just said looked him in the eye and said, ‘You do not remember me, do you?’  And then he remembered me.  And then I could see the light go on in his eyes.  And at that point, he turned and scurried off like scared rabbit I guess.”

The aunt who allegedly witnessed the run-in at the fair passed away.  But another Waring relative, Beverly Brewster, who graduated from UVA’s law school one year behind Allen,  told us Waring talked  about the alleged Allen incident at the time.  Another relative whom we spoke to says Waring told the story "through the years." Several people say she talked about it this summer.

“I had thought about it since I had heard that George Allen was being considered as a Republican nominee, person, possible candidate for the presidency,” Waring said.  “And I thought, well gee, in that case I guess I will have to speak up.  But then macaca presented itself.”

Waring was referring to the incident caught on tape when Allen referred to a person of Indian decent as “macaca.”  Macaca is a racial slur among French-speaking people from North African countries like Tunisia.  Allen's mother grew up in Tunisia

Allen denied he meant the word as a racial slur on a recent edition of “Meet the Press.”

“Where's the word come from?”  “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert asked.  “It must have been in your consciousness.”

“Oh, it's just made up,” Allen replied.  “Just made up.  Made up word…never heard it before.”

This week, as he has in the past, Allen also repeatedly denied ever using the ‘n’ word.

"It is completely false in its allegations,” he said.  “I do not remember ever using that word."

Neal Brendel, who played rugby with George Allen and remembers sitting at some games with Waring, says he does not remember the alleged Allen/Waring incident.

Furthermore, Brendel says, “I don't recall ever hearing Allen use the ‘n’ word on or off the field, nor do I recall him ever talking about anybody unfairly."

In 1979, while practicing law, George Allen began his political career by running for Virginia House of Delegates.  

Waring explained why she did not reveal her story at that time.

“Soon after that I left Charlottesville and I moved to Connecticut,” she said.  “So I was divorced from all of that.  I didn't know what was going on in Virginia, unless he got in the New York Times.  And I wasn't really interested." 

Waring is a registered Democrat and volunteers at the local Democratic office once a week.

Allen’s Democratic challenger is Jim Webb.

Waring says she has never had any contact with anybody from Webb’s campaign or any of his supporters in Virginia.  She also said she would come forward about Allen if he was a Democrat.

“I'd nail him even harder,” she said.  “That's what I would do.”

Waring the issue is not that Allen allegedly used the ‘n’ word so many years ago, but that she believes he is lying today.

"When George Allen stood right up and said he had never used that word, and that just blew me away,” Waring said.  “I thought, ‘Boy, you could, if you had any integrity, you would say yes, I may have made some mistakes in my youth, in my younger years, but, and I'm sorry.’  But to hear him lie about it when I know he is lying." 

Senator Allen's campaign manager says this is all just another false accusation, and that it's not true.

When asked how he knows it's not true, the campaign manager simply said, “It's not true.”

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