Perry and the “N-word Stone”

posted at 12:00 pm on October 2, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

The Washington Post is leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to investigate every presidential candidate, and in Rick Perry’s case, it’s literally true. They have apparently dug up – again, almost literally – a large flat rock which used to stand outside the gates of a remote stretch of ranch-land which his family leased as a hunting camp. In times past it seems to have been emblazoned with a name containing a racially charged epithet which need not be repeated here.

Paint Creek, Tex. — In the early years of his political career, Rick Perry began hosting fellow lawmakers, friends and supporters at his family’s secluded West Texas hunting camp, a place known by the name painted in block letters across a large, flat rock standing upright at its gated entrance.

“**********,” it read. [expletive deleted]

Ranchers who once grazed cattle on the 1,070-acre parcel on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River called it by that name well before Perry and his father, Ray, began hunting there in the early 1980s. There is no definitive account of when the rock first appeared on the property. In an earlier time, the name on the rock was often given to mountains and creeks and rock outcroppings across the country. Over the years, civil rights groups and government agencies have had some success changing those and other racially offensive names that dotted the nation’s maps.

But the name of this particular parcel did not change for years after it became associated with Rick Perry, first as a private citizen, then as a state official and finally as Texas governor. Some locals still call it that. As recently as this summer, the slablike rock — lying flat, the name still faintly visible beneath a coat of white paint — remained by the gated entrance to the camp.

When asked last week, Perry said the word on the rock is an “offensive name that has no place in the modern world.”

This story has it all, as national political race tales go. A popular, if recently struggling frontrunner for the GOP nomination, hints of racism, good ole’ boy politics… you name it. And it seems beyond question – at least thus far – that at least part of the story is true. The rock exists, though thrown down and painted over, and it did stand outside the ranch at one time. And if this turned out to be something that Perry knowingly embraced and maintained it would be the death of his political career at the national level.

But is it indicative of some deep-bred problem of racism in the Perry family? Not according to the initial pushback from his camp.

The presidential campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) complained Sunday that a front-page Washington Post story contains “incorrect, inconsistent” claims.

[...]

“A number of claims made in the story are incorrect, inconsistent, and anonymous, including the implication that Rick Perry brought groups to the lease when the word on the rock was still visible. The one consistent fact in the story is that the word on a rock was painted over and obscured many years ago.

First of all, not in an attempt to excuse the stone itself in any way, that name was sadly quite common across America for a long time… well into the 20th century. There is a ridge near my family’s original summer camp in the Adirondack Mountains in New York containing a spectacular, huge granite outcropping which went by the same name among the locals at least as late as the mid 70′s. It’s just part of a less educated era of our nation’s history.

But as to the case under discussion, this goes one of two ways for Perry. The land in question was leased, originally by his father, with the governor adding his name to the lease in later years. They no longer rent the property and never owned it. According to his response to the Washington Post, the first time he saw the rock – decades ago – he found it offensive and pointed it out to his father. It was then painted over and put out of sight.

Assuming that’s the truth, Perry has absolutely nothing to worry about and the Washington Post will have egg on its face again for looking like they’re cooking up a witch hunt against a GOP frontrunner. And given the “details” in their coverage, don’t be surprised if that’s exactly how this one plays out. While the fact of the stone’s existence seems beyond doubt, their “questions remaining” about the dates when it was painted over and thrown down involve anonymous sources with fuzzy memories and no specific dates given to contradict Perry’s claims.

If, however, some damning pictures, local news items or home movie footage show up which prove Rick Perry was there giving guests tours of the camp with the stone in place, well.. stick a fork in him. He’s done. It would demonstrate that he’s lying about it and – in politics – the coverup is always worse than the crime.

I wouldn’t count on it, though. Perry strikes me as too smart to think something like that could be covered up through the rigorous vetting of a presidential campaign, and the WaPo’s reputation isn’t exactly the gold standard on things like this. Combine that with the lack of specificity in the “questions” being raised in their article and this smells more like something you’d find in one of the outhouses on Perry’s former hunting camp site.

Update (Ed): Here is the statement from Perry’s camp in its entirety:

“A number of claims made in the story are incorrect, inconsistent, and anonymous, including the implication that Rick Perry brought groups to the lease when the word on the rock was still visible. The one consistent fact in the story is that the word on a rock was painted over and obscured many years ago.

“Gov. 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. http://www.hendrickhome.com/

“Perry’s father painted over offensive language on a rock soon after leasing the 1,000-acre parcel in the early 1980s.  When Gov. Perry was party to the hunting lease from 1997 to 2007, the property was described as northern pasture.  He has not been to the property since 2006.

“In 1991, the Texas Legislature passed a bill to rename old, offensive place names.”

If so, this is journalistic malpractice, and the Washington Post owes Governor Perry a big apology.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.

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Perry’s invade Mexico (“drug cartels”) thing is going to hurt Perry a lot more than this stupid rock.

haner on October 3, 2011 at 2:14 AM

Has it crossed the minds of any of you “Why didn’t he destroy the rock?” types that rocks (particularly large ones) are notoriously destruction-resistant? (Also, they’re heavy!)

Fortunately, I don’t think Rockgate is gaining a lot of traction. And hopefully Herman Cain did himself a lot of damage by being so eager to whip out the race card based on such a silly story. I certainly thought he was above that.

Blacklake on October 3, 2011 at 2:17 AM

So there it is, this is what hypocrite “conservatives” do when they want power. They look the other way when Cain plays the race card and sides with the medIa. Hpw dumb are you? Then we wonder why Obama is in office

conservador on October 3, 2011 at 2:17 AM

Blacklake on October 3, 2011 at 2:17 AM

Hey what’s with the name? You advocating drowning African-Americans in lakes?

Daemonocracy on October 3, 2011 at 2:24 AM

Hey what’s with the name? You advocating drowning African-Americans in lakes?

Daemonocracy on October 3, 2011 at 2:24 AM

Reported to attaaaack waaaaatch!

annoyinglittletwerp on October 3, 2011 at 2:26 AM

astonerii on October 2, 2011 at 10:02 PM

What? I’m a former Bachmann fan who now supports Perry.

???

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on October 3, 2011 at 2:39 AM

lol – Romney already played the race card with that illegal immigration ad, he’s doing it again.

Daemonocracy on October 2, 2011 at 2:32 PM

You know, you just provided some really rock solid……speculation.

Until you have actual, tangible, concrete proof the Romney campaign is behind this article, I suggest you shut your mouth.

If, however, some damning pictures, local news items or home movie footage show up which prove Rick Perry was there giving guests tours of the camp with the stone in place, well.. stick a fork in him. He’s done. It would demonstrate that he’s lying about it and – in politics – the coverup is always worse than the crime.

Its interesting that people are waiting for solid proof that this rock is really connected to Rick Perry. Yet, people are willing to assume based on flimsy speculation that Romney is behind this article.

Until the MSM can back up this story with concrete facts…every conservative is safe to assume that this is a hit piece on Rick Perry created by the MSM and not any Republican candidate.

Likewise…unless someone has solid proof (and not speculation) that Romney is behind this…then you shouldn’t be running your mouth on something you have no facts to back up.

Conservative Samizdat on October 3, 2011 at 3:09 AM

lol – Romney already played the race card with that illegal immigration ad, he’s doing it again.

Daemonocracy on October 2, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Perry played the “race card”, “you have no heart” version.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 3, 2011 at 3:40 AM

Perry played the “race card”, “you have no heart” version.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 3, 2011 at 3:40 AM

The heartless comment was not the race card.

His “sound of their last name” comment was.

Romney on the other hand is playing into the stereotype that our issue with illegal immigration as conservatives is Mexico and Mexicans. That ad is polarizing on a larger scale.

Daemonocracy on October 3, 2011 at 4:04 AM

You know, you just provided some really rock solid……speculation.

Until you have actual, tangible, concrete proof the Romney campaign is behind this article, I suggest you shut your mouth.

Suggest all you want, Romney stands for nothing and this fits his persona. He is an unprincipled scumbag and I wouldn’t be surprised for one second if he was behind this.

Cry some more.

Daemonocracy on October 3, 2011 at 4:06 AM

then you shouldn’t be running your mouth on something you have no facts to back up.

Conservative Samizdat on October 3, 2011 at 3:09 AM

It stinks of Romney. That is how people feel because of his lack of character.

Daemonocracy on October 3, 2011 at 4:08 AM

You’re one of the biggest monsters on this site to any candidate not Palin. I’d rather intentionally stare at the sun while pouring salt in my eyes than accidentally read one of your posts as I just did.

Daemonocracy on October 3, 2011 at 1:56 AM

“Accidentally”. You’re, as usual, full of shit. If I were to ask you to show me some of those “monstrous” examples, you’d shut up for a blessed change.

ddrintn on October 3, 2011 at 6:39 AM

Suggest all you want, Romney stands for nothing and this fits his persona. He is an unprincipled scumbag and I wouldn’t be surprised for one second if he was behind this.

Cry some more.

Daemonocracy on October 3, 2011 at 4:06 AM

By the way, I’m not the one going around blaming Romney — with no evidence whatsoever — for every other candidate’s woes. That would, uh, be you. Idiot.

ddrintn on October 3, 2011 at 6:42 AM

Even if true (and that’s a big if, considering the state of the journalism profession…I’d say very small chance this went down as written) so what?

Who gives a flying f***, anymore? Being against Herman Cain is racist. Being against the Chicago Machine is racist. Saying the term Black Hole is racist.

Why should any of us give a crap about what the trash of society thinks, anymore. So a rock carried an offensive name, once upon a time. And that means I’m supposed to vote for a Marxist piece of garbage today? Um, no.

It’s time to quit apologizing to every piece of trash that feigns offense. And I’m definitely not in the Rick Perry camp. I kind of want to be, now, as a big f*** you to people I share no common bond with, but no, still not.

MNHawk on October 3, 2011 at 6:48 AM

oops, edit button needed!

Being FOR Herman Cain is racist.

MNHawk on October 3, 2011 at 6:48 AM

I am definitely going to say something to AP and Ed if you don’t stop with the personal attacks on me that are unconnected to anything having to do with this blog, the topic under discussion or anything else.
Jenfidel on October 2, 2011 at 10:26 PM

HotAir has its own AttackWatch site? Who knew?

Wethal on October 3, 2011 at 7:00 AM

If so, this is journalistic malpractice, and the Washington Post owes Governor Perry a big apology.

don’t hold your breath….

this is election time…they’ll apologize once he is out of the race (if that happens)

cmsinaz on October 3, 2011 at 7:40 AM

I am definitely going to say something to AP and Ed if you don’t stop with the personal attacks on me…

Jenfidel on October 2, 2011 at 10:26 PM

HotAir has its own AttackWatch site? Who knew?

Wethal on October 3, 2011 at 7:00 AM

LOL…

TheRightMan on October 3, 2011 at 8:18 AM

By the way, I’m not the one going around blaming Romney — with no evidence whatsoever — for every other candidate’s woes. That would, uh, be you. Idiot.

ddrintn on October 3, 2011 at 6:42 AM

Wow! You have certainly progressed… from being strongly pro-Palin to now being strongly pro-Romney… :)

LOL…

TheRightMan on October 3, 2011 at 8:21 AM

If only they would have dug this deep on Obama…

jeffn21 on October 3, 2011 at 9:32 AM

This is the dumbest assault ever (putting aside the nonsense
they throw at Palin).

First of all, if 96% of black Americans voted for Obama
last time, 94% will vote for him this time. They might care
about this “rock”, however, they weren’t going to vote for Perry anyways.

Most of the rest of us don’t care. We have had so many
charges of racism thrown at us, that it really doesn’t matter
any more.

Now, if someone had a phone camera recording of Perry using
racial slurs, that would be another thing.

But, a rock? They had to go to the bottom of the barrell to pull
this one out.

Amjean on October 3, 2011 at 10:25 AM

What? I’m a former Bachmann fan who now supports Perry.

???

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on October 3, 2011 at 2:39 AM

As the argument goes. Where you gonna go. So of course you are. As was I. Since Bachmann is too wild eyed crazy to be President, looking at Perry and his invasion of Mexico statement, I find him to Wild eyed lunatic crazy, which is worse than Bachmann’s purported level, and thus, since I am unable to support Bachmann due to her gettin on the crazy, well, Perry is no longer supportable. He is crazy.

astonerii on October 3, 2011 at 10:26 AM

On top of fact that Perry’s Mexico invasion idea is lunatic wild eyed crazy, it will most definitely drive the moderate vote to Obama. The moderates certainly do not want to deal with another war of choice. In fact, I am betting the moderates are pretty much in favor of the fence crazy lunatic wild eyed Perry opposes. For the good of the party, we really need to let the moderates know that we do not support this wild crazy lunatic for president. The sooner we dump him for the next flavor of the week, the better our chances of redeeming ourselves to the moderates!

astonerii on October 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM

It’s just part of a less educated era of our nation’s history.

Really? Why have test scores continued to plummet? I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘less educated’ – it’s a matter of less sensitive to certain things. It’s a matter of different cultural sensibilities. But Just because someone is insensitive or has different values doesn’t mean they’re less educated. This idea of ‘educated’ is a bit part of the problem in the relationship between academia and the conservative movement. It is slightly offensive, sure, but it’s worse than that – its’ dangerous.

WashingtonsWake on October 3, 2011 at 10:38 AM

But, a rock? They had to go to the bottom of the barrell to pull this one out.

The WAPO knows all about rocks. They have a whole basement room full of rocks they have never used since Obama became President.

They are called “Grim Milestones“.

drunyan8315 on October 3, 2011 at 3:20 PM

ddrintn on October 3, 2011 at 6:39 AM

Tell us again how Palin has sacrificed more than a soldier who lost a limb in battle.

Freak.

Daemonocracy on October 3, 2011 at 5:17 PM

ddrintn on October 3, 2011 at 6:39 AM

Tell us again how Palin has sacrificed more than a soldier who lost a limb in battle.

Freak.

Daemonocracy on October 3, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Yell us again how those voices in your head are saying that Romney’s da debbil.

Freak.

ddrintn on October 3, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Wow! You have certainly progressed… from being strongly pro-Palin to now being strongly pro-Romney… :)

LOL…

TheRightMan on October 3, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Not so much pro-Romney as anti-wacked-out conspiracy theory.

ddrintn on October 3, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Yell us again how those voices in your head are saying that Romney’s da debbil.

Freak.

ddrintn on October 3, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Oh and who could forget about Bachmann adopting her foster kids for the government money.

Class act.

Have you finished carving Palin’s name into your inner thigh yet?

I’m Palin is thrilled to have her own Yolanda Saldívar. If she ends up not running, you’re the reason why.

Daemonocracy on October 3, 2011 at 10:38 PM

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