Early in Rick Perry’s political career he hosted friends and fellow politicians at a West Texas hunting camp called “niggerhead.” Seriously, the hunting camp, which Perry’s family leased, had a big boulder out in front with the racial slur painted across the front.
The Washington Post interviewed several people who confirmed that the camp was called “niggerhead” during the 1980s and 1990s. The New York Times reports that the Perry campaign is not denying that the racial slur was used for the camp. They are, however, saying that Perry did not name the camp, and that when his father joined the lease the name of the camp was changed.
Perry’s campaign issued a statement saying:
“Perry’s father painted over offensive language on a rock soon after leasing the 1,000-acre parcel in the early 1980s… When Governor Perry was party to the hunting lease from 1997 to 2007, the property was described as northern pasture. He has not been to the property since 2006.”
But according to the Washington Post, the offending rock has been seen at the entrance of the camp as recently as three years ago. So maybe Perry changed the name, but decided to leave the rock, you know, for nostalgic purposes.
Perry’s campaign is insisting that Perry’s family never owned or managed the property, but fellow GOP candidate Herman Caine, unsurprisingly, says that Perry’s actions were plain insensitive.
There “isn’t a more vile, negative word than the N-word, and for him to leave it there as long as he did, until before, I hear, they finally painted over it, is just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country.”
Perry spokesman, Ray Sullivan, disputes several facts in the Washington Post article, saying that Perry never hosted fellow politicians at the camp while it was named “niggerhead.”
“The one consistent fact in the story is that the word on a rock was painted over and obscured many years ago.”
Who do you believe? Does it speak to Perry’s character that he attended a camp with such an offensive name, even if he wasn’t in charge of naming the place?