Texas Gov. Rick Perry

*Texas Governor Rick Perry’s family joined a lease which gave its members hunting rights at a West Texas camp. The name of the camp painted on a stone near the entrance to the camp was “Niggerhead.” Perry contends that his father painted over the offensive name after joining the lease in 1983. However, the Washington Post (which broke the story) cites several people who say the name was still visible into the 1990s.

Perry is now a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination to face Barack Obama in November of 2012. Does the controversy over the camp’s name disqualify Perry to be president of “all the American people?” My answer is “yes!”

I am a “let’s move on, don’t wallow in the past” type of guy. But I am not a person who easily forgets a wrong. When you wrong me or my people, there must be an apology, atonement and reparations where necessary. The offending person or group can be redeemed but until redemption is awarded that person or group is placed on a type of socio-political probation and dared not to offend again.

Rick Perry showed incredible insensitivity toward and disrespect for African Americans by year-after-year hunting at a camp named “Niggerhead.” But he did not stop there. Roughly eleven years ago when the NAACP stepped up its campaign to remove the equally offensive Confederate flag from statehouses and other government buildings across the South, it found one of its most bitter opponents in Rick Perry.

Perry argued that the Confederate flag – a symbol of the racist attempt to keep blacks in slavery forever – was part of “our history” and reflected Southern pride. Later this fall, the issue comes up again when Texas decides whether or not to allow specialty license plates featuring the Confederate flag. The plates have been requested by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a nonprofit organization Perry has supported over the years. A state board he appointed will decide.

Here again, his insensitivity toward and disrespect for black people abounds. How can such a man be “our” president?

Finally, a word on Southern pride: In order to maintain the evil of slavery, Southern whites launched a Civil War which sought to destroy the nation. When it ended in 1865, approximately 625,000 people had been killed and large portions of the country had been devastated. Is that something of which to be proud? But it did not stop there. The defeated Confederate soldiers returned South and became the shock troops for the Ku Klux Klan – a terrorist organization which plagued blacks and their supporters for another 100 years.

Such a group cannot be honored!

No to Niggerhead! No to Confederate symbols. No to Rick Perry!

[Visit Robert Taylor’s blog at http://www.taylormediaservices.info/]