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Cord Jefferson writes: "This says two things, neither of which is 'Rick Perry is an unforgivable racist': America is a place with a deeply racist history, one that's seeped into our lexicon so much that even mostly benign things like echinacea and hunting camps can have horrifically racist name associations. And Rick Perry is a normal guy who was steeped in racism from a young age and has since come to believe that the term 'niggerhead' is at least somewhat acceptable."

Texas Governor Rick Perry has some fun with a six-shooter filled with blanks as NASCAR driver Colin Braun looks on. (photo: Rodger Mallison/MCT)
Texas Governor Rick Perry has some fun with a six-shooter filled with blanks as NASCAR driver Colin Braun looks on. (photo: Rodger Mallison/MCT)

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+10 # Byronator 2011-10-04 22:52
Wow. Here's another stupid Texas rich boy who's hit a lucky trifecta -- owning a hunting camp with a racist name (evidently not changed) in West Texas, the anus of the southwest. Yes, indeed, this is the kind of leader the United States sorely needs as our next President.
-11 # Martintfre 2011-10-05 06:12
So this was back in the days when Perry was a good democrat.
+3 # Todd Williams 2011-10-05 08:59
Good Democrat? When he was a "Democrat" he wasn't that good. Check him out a little bit before you go shoot off your conservative comments. We all know you're a conservative, Martinfre. You're so predictable.
+5 # fredboy 2011-10-05 07:46
No surprise. Ever been to Texas? Florida? Mississippi? Alabama? Georgia? South Carolina? Etc.
+3 # humanmancalvin 2011-10-05 08:43
The ignorance of this column is mystifying. Just because an insulting, degrading, murderous term was in vogue in racist circles a ways back that makes it understandable today. This twit probably flies the ole bars'n'stars without apology as it is part of his heritage even though it was the flag of slavery. Vote GOP at your peril.
+6 # ABen 2011-10-05 09:07
Tacit racism is still racism.
+3 # kidfrombrooklyn 2011-10-05 09:25
I can remember visiting London in 1958. I recall seeing a shoe polish labeled "NIGGER BROWN". Lest we forget, the USA has no monopoly on a racist history.
+1 # smcilree 2011-10-05 10:25
I was curious about the use of this term, so I Googled it. One reference which puzzles me points to a print of a watercolor in the US Navy Art Collection which is entitled "Niggerhead Crew". Was there a ship with this name or does it refer to the equipment the sailors are working with?
+2 # Glen 2011-10-05 12:21
It's hard to know what's racism and what was older uses of the word nigger. Originally, if you care to look up the history, it was not derogatory. That came later.

As children many folks were surrounded with all manner of names and phrases and had no clue it was racist, it was merely something that was done or a game played. Who really knows what Perry's parents or Perry thought of the name on that property.

We should be more concerned with what nonsense he is up to now and how dangerous he and his people might be as an administration in Washington D.C.
+3 # LGNTexas 2011-10-05 15:28
I grew up in Indiana near the Michigan border and we had Jim Crow up there when I was growing up in the 40's and 50's. Blacks were banned from most restaurants, barber shops and hotels in smaller towns. We called Brazil nuts "nigger toes", chocolate drops "nigger teats" and pea shooters "nigger shooters" and we didn't even have any black families in our county. Moving to Houston from Chicago to attend college here in the late 60's found housing more integrated here than in the Midwest.

Perry has done a good job of appointing black state judges and hired black personnel, more than any governor in our state's history. But he also supports the Sons of the Confederacy having their own vanity license plates prominently showing the Confederate "Star and Bars" flag.
0 # Glen 2011-10-06 05:53
LGNTexas, thanks for bringing this up and thanks for contributing to a discussion of Rick Perry.

The list of sayings and labels, such as "nigger knockers", Aunt Jemima, "nigger town", and so many more depicting a particular attitude, is an interesting topic, really. Racism and bigotry aside, folks might find researching that period of this country enlightening.
0 # samvbarnes 2011-10-07 16:08
I grew up in the South and did not understand the names of places that used the N word as part of a location or activity. As I grew we migrated to the North and I heard that term more than I ever heard it in the South. I learned to dislike the word regardless of how it was used. I still regard that word as disgraceful. However; I do not like to be called Whitey, Soda Cracker or other slang terms that are used frequently to identify the so called White Race.
0 # samvbarnes 2011-10-07 16:04

I don't have a problem with Perry being supportive of the SOTC. Strangely enough there was a group of soldiers in a war around 1861-1865 that bore the name of Rebel and Confederate. Was it legitimate or was it a cause or was it for states rights, it is difficult to say. Are we to say that the Germans and the Japanese and the Koreans cannot have their flag because we were once at war with them? Maybe we should also take the Italian flag away from them as well. Can we get a cause going to have those countries flags removed from all public places?
0 # opieee 2011-10-07 15:34
I guess niggerhead since it has nigger in it is regarded as a an evil word.

If you follow that logic you will have to rename the country of Nigeria as well as the river Niger.

Back in earlier days in the printing trade, each letter and each space was set up piece by piece by a man called a compositor. The composition was then wedged or "locked up" in a steel frame which was then placed on a printing press. an ink roller rolled over it. A sheet of paper was placed on a flat surface in the press called the platten and the composition banged into it transferring the inked image to the paper.

After many impressions sometimes the spaces worked up high enough to be inked and consequently printed along with the letters. They were usually black and hence the name niggerhead.

I would bet the printers who printed Ms. H. B. Stowe's book discovered a few during the process.

Niggerhead was a descriptive noun and an eminently useful term in the printing trade with no other connotations.

Some people seem enjoy getting their nickers in a wad. perhaps it is a way to be noticed and have an identity.

The truth is that anyone can be insulted any place, any time, about anything, if he is searching for insults. It is a question of attitude.
0 # samvbarnes 2011-10-07 15:59
I am not pro Perry or any candidate at this time; however I do not like the political smear that appears to lighten the eyes of the contributors here. Someone needs to set the record straight and state that the hunting grounds were rented by Gov Perry and his father. I do not know if any other people were involved in the rental but does it really matter? Does it matter that he was a Democrat at the time he used the grounds? Does it sound like a psychological play with Emoticons when the author says "Rick Perry's Camp has a Racist Name? They did not bother to say that it was owned by someone else, named by someone else, and they almost missed the fact that Perry painted over the signs. But the author did come back and say he painted over a few of the signs. How many signs were there and where were they located? I don't fall for the old politically correct bull. I want to hear or read honest reporting and I want to insure that it is valid and not conjured up by some glory writer.

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