Texas Governor Rick Perry has come under fire for the politically-incorrect name of a sprawling ranch his family has owned for the last 30 years.
News of the 42,000-acre Niggerhead Ranch was first broke by the Washington Post on Saturday. The paper interviewed more than two dozen people, many who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of repercussions from neighbors or the Perry administration.
As recently as this summer, a slablike rock – lying flat, the name “Niggerhead” still faintly visible beneath a coat of white paint – remained by the gated entrance to the camp.
“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.” the Post reported.
When asked last week, Perry said the word on the rock is an “offensive name that has no place in the modern world.”
Ray Sullivan, Perry’s communication’s director, told MSNBC that the governor’s father, Ray, painted over the name in “1983 or 1984 and remained so,” adding that the named sources in the Post article corroborate him.
Sullivan also said that the last time Perry went to the ranch was 2006, and stopped leasing the property a year later.
Herman Cain, the only African-American running for president under the GOP banner, harshly denounced the name of Perry’s ranch as “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, before I hear that they finally painted over it, it’s just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country,” Cain said on FOX News on Sunday.
Then, appearing on ABC’s This Week, Cain repeated the entire name rather than just say “the N-Word.”
“There are some words that do not basically inspire the kind of negativity like that particular word,” he said. “And since Gov. Perry has been going there for years to hunt, I think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place. It’s just basically a case of insensitivity.”