Would it surprise you to learn that Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry used to bring friends and colleagues around to a west Texas hunting camp called "Niggerhead"? No? Yeah, it didn't surprise us much, either.
How about if we told you that the big rock sign still had that name painted on it into the 1990s? No? Still not surprised? Or if we said the Perry was vague and maybe even misleading about the hunting camp, and that his account contradicts "the recollections of seven people interviewed by The Washington Post"?
"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."
"Ever since, any time I ever saw the rock it was painted over," Perry said.
Perry's version of events differs in many respects from the recollections of seven people, interviewed by The Washington Post, who spoke in detail of their memories of seeing the rock with the name at various points during the years that Perry was associated with the property through his father, partners or his signature on a lease.
Surprised yet? Yeah, us neither. What if you heard that the county "was for years considered a virtual no-go zone for blacks"? Or that it has a school superintendent who thinks that "[b]lacks were perfectly satisfied with what was happening" during the civil rights era? Would that be surprising? Wait, here's something surprising:
"It's just a name," said Haskell County Judge David Davis, sitting in his courtroom and looking at a window. "Like those are vertical blinds. It's just what it was called. There was no significance other than as a hunting deal."
A Texas county judge is insensitive and ignorant! Surely that's surprising? No? Shit.
[Washington Post; image via AP]