WHOOPSIE: Up Until Not That Long Ago, The Perry Family Hunting Retreat Was Called ‘N*ggerhead’


THE AUSTRALIAN: Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry is under pressure to explain why his family’s hunting retreat was called Niggerhead and why the racially offensive name remained painted on a giant stone there for years. The Washington Post reported that the word was painted on a flat rock standing upright at the gated entrance of the secluded Perry family hunting refuge in Texas. The 430-hectare parcel, used for hunting and fishing retreats, was the venue of getaways hosted for decades by Perry, who entertained fellow politicians, friends and supporters there, the report said. The Post said the getaway was given its objectionable Rick_Perry.jpgname long before being acquired by Perry, but the Texas governor did not change it for years after obtaining the lease on the property. The report said Perry had called it “an offensive name that has no place in the modern world”, but questions remained over his handling of the issue. Nigger, one of the most reviled words in the American lexicon, is a pejorative word used to denigrate African-Americans. The Post said the offensive word was still faintly visible under a coat of white paint. MORE

WASHINGTON POST:  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. “Niggerhead,” it read. 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. MORE


RELATED: The federal trial judge in a case issues her vital ruling before the capital defendant’s lawyers have completed their argument. A local prosecutor who helped convict the death row inmate now pleads with the state parole board to give the guy a new sentencing trial. Defense attorneys say that lawyers for the Attorney General’s office are lying to the court. And the governor who can help stop this parade of horribles, Gov. Rick Perry, earns public cheers for his chillingly remorseless stand on capital punishment. Welcome to Texas, to its death penalty regime, and to the excruciating case of Duane Edward Buck. Buck [was] scheduled to be executed Thursday in Huntsville for a double murder he committed in Houston in 1995. No one contests his guilt. Instead, his lawyers say that Texas owes him a new sentencing trial because his first one was unlawfully tainted by race. An expert witness at his trial in 1997 impermissibly told jurors that Buck would be more dangerous in the future because he is black. As I chronicled last week, the six other men in Texas whose trials were similarly tainted all got new sentencing hearings after then-Attorney General John Cornyn Rick_Perry.jpgconceded the state’s error in 2000. Buck, however, has not. Texas now is opposed to Buck’s request. It is squeezing him because it can and because it is politically expedient to do so. The state claims that Buck did not timely raise the issue on appeal in federal court. MORE

RELATED: With Buck’s life on the line, […] inexplicably, Judge Gilmore cranked out a nine-page order in a matter of hours without waiting to see whether any of the representations made by Texas were suspect or not — without giving the condemned man a full chance to make all of his arguments. This is dubious behavior from a federal judge but perhaps not terribly surprising from Judge Gilmore, a 1994 appointee of President Bill Clinton. Over the years, she has earned the nickname “judicial diva” for her decidedly injudicious conduct on the bench. David Lat, the respected legal blogger who coined the “diva” phrase in 2007, has helped chronicle the many ways in which Judge Gilmore has reportedly engaged in conduct unbecoming of a federal judge. And what did the federal jurist do in response to her new nickname? Why, she wrote a book titled “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up; Tales from a Judicial Diva.” This light-hearted offering followed her first book, which was a coloring book for the children of incarcerated inmates. This is the judge who was in such a rush to kick Buck’s case out of her court last week that she didn’t even wait for all of the arguments to come in before she issued her order. MORE

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