October 01, 2011

#RickPerrysTexasMiracle: racism

Ahh, Tricky Ricky: Pandering to Hispanic voters, primarily because your BFFs like Bob Perry like illegal immigrants building homes on the cheap, but ...

You and your family's relation with offensive black words appears, well ... offensive. The offensive? The word "Niggerhead," painted on a rock, at the entrance to a hunting camp possessing that name.

A hunting camp his father, then Perry himself, rented from the landowner.

Perry claims:
“My mother and father went to the lease and painted the rock in either 1983 or 1984,” Perry wrote. “This occurred after I paid a visit to the property with a friend and saw the rock with the offensive word. After my visit I called my folks and mentioned it to them, and they painted it over during their next visit.”
But, that's directly contradicted by several others, at the start of page 3 of the story:
Of those interviewed, the seven who said they saw the rock said the block-lettered name was clearly visible at different points in the 1980s and 1990s. One, a former worker on the ranch, believes he saw it as recently as 2008.
No wonder that, just before that, on page 2 of this in-depth story, we have this:
Most of those interviewed requested anonymity because they fear being ostracized or other repercussions in their small community. Some are supporters of Perry, whose parents still live in Paint Creek. Others, both Democrats and Republicans, are not. Several spoke matter-of-factly about the hunting camp and its name and wondered why it held any outside interest.
 And, no, this apparently wasn't a pebble, or a small stone:
“I was just so taken aback that it was so blatant, so in your face,” said a person from the Dallas area who visited the camp once in 1990 or 1991 and did not want to be named in a story potentially critical of Perry. “It was just, ‘whop.’ It was a big rock, big enough to write that whole thing out.”
Actually, I should say "isn't" and not "wasn't," because, as of earlier this year, the Post says the rock was still at the entrance, with the word still visible underneath a thin coat of white paint.

The easy thing to do would have been to broken the rock up, not just paint it over. Or, if you were going to paint it over, actually paint it over and then turn it upside down.

It appears like Perry's dad, Perry himself, or both, wanted to have their cake and eat it, too. Cover up the name enough to make it look like they were racially sensitive, but still leave the name showing enough to others to indicate that, if not racist, at least they had no problems with what was accepted old heritage for most of white Texas not so long ago.

You know, kind of like Ronald Reagan speaking about "states' rights' in Neshoba County, Mississippi, but in that blunter way that is the way of Rick Perry.

That said, Pizza Man Herman Cain has awakened from his earlier denialism about the history of Republican racism.and called Perry "insensitive."

And the rock "insulting":
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," said Cain, who is running against Perry and a group of others for the Republican presidential nomination.
If Fox is giving it this much play, that's a BIG trouble sign for Tricky Ricky.

Perry himself has issued a boilerplate  press release denial, with a heaping helping a weaselry, through his staff.
Governor Perry and his family never owned, controlled or managed the property referenced in the Washington Post story. The 42,000-acre ranch is owned by the Hendricks Home for Children, a West Texas charity.
So, you couldn't have said anything? Done anything? But .. .you DID! Your dad was the one who allegedly painted over the name. Or halfway covered it up.

More on the "dogwhistle" aspects of this, and the sundown town history in the area, below the fold.
Texas has a number of what are known as "sundown towns" - places blacks weren't supposed to be found inside the city limits after sundown. Among them? Throckmorton, county seat of Throckmorton County, one of the two counties where this ranch/hunting lease is located. Allegedly, a long-ago lynching was the sign/warning that blacks saw for getting out of town while it was still daylight. (Oh, I strongly recommend James Loewen's book on the issue nationally.)

As for the "truthiness" of this story? I've been through Throckmorton more than once. And Haskell County as well. I used to live no more than 100 miles from Throckmorton. On the mileau of the story, everything rings true.

It's clear that through his contradictory stories, his refusal to be interviewed for the story, and the half-assed job of dealing with the rock, that Perry knows he has an "issue," and an issue that he has nobody to blame for but himself.

Actually, he has two issues. The rock at the hunting lease is just the surface issue. It's clear that, at a minimum, Perry hasn't fully addressed the mileau in which he was raised, and at a maximum, that he may have enough baggage on this issue to fill a Pullman car.

Well, he's going to have to deal with it now.

Now, then, since Pizza Man has spoken, let's ask our first black president, who insists that we're in a post-racial America. Wonder if Obama will have any comment?

Speaking of, will this only increase GOP "elites" clamoring for Chris Christie to enter the race? Will this affect his own thinking?

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