Finally, a Congressional Resolution on "Niggerhead"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 6 2011 1:44 PM

Finally, a Congressional Resolution on "Niggerhead"

Felicia Sonmez grabs the privileged resolution from Rep. Jesse Jackson, D-Ill., that would put Congress on record as being offended by Rick Perry's old hunting camp.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

With about two-dozen Congressional Black Caucus members and a few other Democrats as well as a handful of House Republicans and visitors in the House gallery looking on, Jackson on Thursday rose for several minutes and read the text of his resolution condemning Perry.

Finally: A stunt in the House of Representatives! The following are actual Whereases from the resolution, which is officially Condemning Texas Governor Rick Perry for using a secluded West Texas hunting camp as a place to host lawmakers, friends and supporters on hunting trips at a place known by the name painted in block letters across a large, flat rock standing upright at its gated entrance called ‘‘Niggerhead’’.

Whereas upon reading that story the vast majority of people in the United States were morally outraged;

The vast majority, yes.

Whereas Texas Governor Rick Perry is from West Texas and was originally a Southern Democrat – often known as Dixiecrats – who switched parties in the late 1980s to be- come a Republican and is currently a leading Republican presidential candidate;

Hint, hint: Why did the other Dixiecrats switch parties?

Whereas asked last week about the name, Governor Perry said the word on the rock is an offensive name that has no place in the modern world – implying that it may have been okay and had an appropriate place in that community when he was growing up;

How do we know that Perry implied this?

Whereas Herman Cain is the only Republican presidential candidate to criticize Governor Rick Perry for being ‘‘insensitive’’ when the word was not immediately condemned, but we would remind Herman Cain that the word is not only ‘‘insensitive’’, but is also ‘‘offensive’’:

Oh, come on. The two actual action items: Congress "calls on Governor Rick Perry’s presidential rivals, who have not yet make strong statements of outrage over the rock that contained the word, to do so," and "calls upon Governor Rick Perry to list the names of all lawmakers, friends, and financial supporters he took with him on his hunting trips at ‘‘Niggerhead."

Probably worth mentioning now: Jackson is facing a primary challenge next year, and things that build his reputation with liberals are not bad for him.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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