Thursday, September 28, 2006

Webb used the N-Word, Terrorized Black Neighborhoods

I guess this is what the Post meant yesterday when they said we'd have a muddy time of it.

Will the Webbies who have been gleefully basking in their mudbath join us NOW in calling for some civility? Webb is hardly the kind of person who is going to have a squeaky-clean background, after all -- if you read his books, you have to realise that authors have to find inspiration from SOME WHERE for their characters.

I didn't want this to happen. I begged us all to stop a week ago, but the Webb campaign and their paid bloggers and supporters couldn't quit while they were ahead. There's going to be other people out their who have no real axe to grind against Webb, but just feel like the playing field should be level.

Anyway, from the story "Webb Denies EVER Using Word as Epithet" (how else can you use it?):

Cragg, 67, who lives in Fairfax County, said on Wednesday that Webb described taking drives through the black neighborhood of Watts, where he and members of his ROTC unit used racial epithets and pointed fake guns at blacks to scare them.

"They would hop into their cars, and would go down to Watts with these buddies of his," Cragg said Webb told him. "They would take the rifles down there. They would call them [epithets], point the rifles at them, pull the triggers and then drive off laughing. One night, some guys caught them and beat . . . them. And that was the end of that."

Ah, youthful indiscretion. I bet the Webbies could defend this if they hadn't called for a resignation over the casual use of the n-word in an alleged conversation about turtles.

Cragg said Webb told him the Watts story during a 1983 interview for a Vietnam veterans magazine. Cragg, who described himself as a Republican who would vote for Allen, did not include the story in his article. He provided a transcript of the interview, but the transcript does not contain the ROTC story. He said he still remembers the exchange vividly more than 20 years later.

I could say something about that, but since the webbies at NLS have told me my opinion is worthless in these matters, I'll let them have a crack at it. I will say that a sit-down interview 22 years ago with specifics about what was said at least is easier to discuss than the vague "he said the n-word" from 10 years earlier.

Webb, who is in Texas for fundraising events, did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Todd said Webb denied the allegations in a conversation with her.

A lot of Virginians in Texas? Maybe Webb chose the wrong time to leave the state, right after telling the Washington Post he wanted voters to learn about "the real me".

"He said it's not true. It's not even close to being true," Todd said. She quoted Webb as saying: "In 1963, you couldn't go to Watts and do that kind of thing. You'd get killed. So of course I didn't do it. I would never do that. I would never want to do that."

Cragg didn't saywhether Webb actually DID it, he just says Webb TOLD him he did it, and used the n-word describing it:

Cragg, a former Army sergeant major, described himself as a longtime friend of Webb's who worked for him when he was assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan. Cragg said he approached the Allen campaign through a friend after hearing Webb's answer to the Times-Dispatch reporter's question about using the N-word.

"The fact is he has. He used it in my presence," Cragg said. "I don't think he's a racist any more than George Allen is. But he's not frank in admitting that he grew up in a culture where that was common and he used it."

Anyway, this certainly meets Larry Sabato's seal of approval -- since Webb SAID he had never used the word "as an epithet", I guess it's fair game to trot out people who say otherwise. The guy says he was a friend of Webb's -- and Webb did give him a long interview for a book, plus Webb didn't deny knowing him.

I'd ignore this story, if it wasn't for the crap the left has been throwing around in this campaign. It could well be true -- it certainly sounds like something that could have happened in the late 60s, and the getting beat up is plausible. But I don't care what Webb said 20 years ago, I care about what bad things he would do to Virginia and our Country as a Senator.

And I don't mean as a womanizer or racist, I mean by voting based on the few positions he has voiced so far, like shutting down the billion-dollar bases we built in Iraq to keep our troops safe, and redeploying them to Jordan and Kuwait so the terrorists start tearing up THOSE countries and we end up with two more unstable governments -- plus having to spend billions more to build bases and redeploy the troops.

Anyway, is this what the Webb supporters wanted for their Senate Race? I guess, and now we have it, whether I like it or not.

For the record, I will note that I am NOT dancing a jig, or shouting "in your face" or otherwise spitting on my colleagues on the other side. This makes me sick, it should have made you sick, and maybe by the time this is over we'll all be throwing up on the sidewalk after voting for our candidates.

Because like the Post said, this isn't going to get any better, unless the two candidates get together and put a stop to it.

oh, I can't end on that note. So I'll include this little bit of more humorous tit-for-tat, something I DO enjoy because it's campaign chatter, not the destruction of human beings. Webb's campaign spokesperson Todd says:

"They are pathetic individuals. They are beneath it. They are slime," she said. "Here we are trying to talk about the issues. They are completely and totally desperate."

I mean, that's funny, right, given her candidate isn't here discussing the issues, he's off in Texas trying to raise money. And then LaCivita responds:

Allen campaign officials declined to comment on Cragg's story. But political adviser Chris LaCivita responded to Todd's criticism. "They wouldn't know an issue if it hit them square in the face," he said.


Anonymous said...

Two men differ on stories of racist behavior by Webb
A college friend and an ex-friend give dueling accounts about the Democratic Senate hopeful.
September 29, 2006
James Webb's roommate at the University of Southern California said Thursday that allegations of racist behavior by the Virginia Democratic Senate candidate while Webb was in college were a confabulation of unrelated incidents that add up to a lie.

The allegations appeared in Thursday's Washington Post.

Dan Cragg, 67, told the Post that he interviewed Webb in 1983 for a story in a now-defunct newspaper for Vietnam War veterans. During the interview, Cragg told the Post, Webb described forays into the Watts area of Los Angeles with friends from the university's ROTC unit. There, Cragg said, they would point fake guns at black people to scare them, call them "niggers," pull triggers and then ride away.

The incidents stopped, Cragg said, when they were caught and beaten.

The Post story acknowledged that a transcript of the interview provided by Cragg did not include the Watts story.

Cragg told the Daily Press on Thursday that he taped the interview May 23, 1983, but erased the part dealing with the alleged Watts incidents.

"I thought it would hurt Jim," said Cragg, who was employed by Webb at the Defense Department before moving on to another job in the Pentagon.

Cragg, of Springfield, also told the Daily Press on Thursday that he was connected with The Washington Post a day earlier by Chris LaCivita, an official with the campaign of Republican Sen. George Allen. For weeks, Allen has been beset by allegations of racial insensitivity.

Oleg Jankovic, a Fairfax County resident who roomed with Webb when they were freshman ROTC students at USC, has a different memory of the events.

"I knew Dan Cragg," said Jankovic, who remained in Los Angeles after Webb moved on to the Naval Academy. "I know Jim thought a lot of him when he worked for Jim at the Pentagon."

Jankovic told the Daily Press of a group of events that, he said, Cragg probably confused in the story he told the Post.

Those events involve a Springfield rifle that a student obtained through a surplus store, an expedition involving Webb and some other students to the top of a building near the downtown Los Angeles campus to shoot blanks with the rifle, and solo trips by Webb to Watts in 1963.

"He always said, 'They want me to be an engineer, and I want to be an artist,' " Jankovic said. "I never quite understood that, but I do know that he would go down there just to go. Once, he was caught by some blacks and beaten up. Another time, a black man pulled a gun on him."

Charles said...

Maybe Webb thought it would sound better if he put the stories together. Cragg couldn't possibly know if the events happened, only what Webb told him.

But if Hodges is correct, there is something odd -- For Cragg to mix up the stories, he would have had to have heard them. But they weren't on the transcript.

Cragg says he didn't put the story on the transcript because he thought it would hurt Webb, but if what Webb TOLD him were these stories, it wouldn't have been hurtful to Webb.

If Webb didn't tell Cragg ANYTHING, he wouldn't have known all these details.

So it could well be that Webb put these stories together because he thought it would sound cool in 1983 to talk about harrassing blacks in Watts in 1963.

Or maybe it really happened, but Hodges wasn't part of the group that went. We know from Hodges that Webb drove to Watts multiple times, Hodges says ALONE which means Webb never told him anybody was with him.

Maybe Webb had a group he hung out with and didn't want his roommate to know. Or maybe Webb did this by himself and told Cragg there was a group.

What Hodges DOES do is eliminate the notion that Cragg completely made up the story. There are two many parts that match, including that Webb drove into Watts (didn't Webb say that would be crazy for a white person to do?) and that Webb was beaten by someone while in Watts.

But in any case, the important thing is that this alleged incident was from decades ago, and we should be talking about what the candidates are saying TODAY.

Allen was on Hannity's radio show and was talking about a dozen things he was done or is doing for Virginia. That's what we need to concentrate on, not what they said or didn't say 30 years ago.