The Washington Post reported on Sunday that Texas Governor Rick Perry has hosted fellow lawmakers, friends and supporters at a West Texas hunting camp formerly leased by him and his family called “Niggerhead.”
The camp’s entrance included a large flat rock with the words “Niggerhead” in bold block letters.
Perry isn’t denying any of the allegations. In a statement made to the Washington Post he says his family painted over the the word as soon as they took over the lease:
“When my Dad joined the lease in 1983, he took the first opportunity he had to paint over the offensive word on the rock during the 4th of July holiday,” Perry said in his initial response to the Post. “It is my understanding that the rock was eventually turned over to further obscure what was originally written on it.”
But how, when or whether this actually happened is unclear.
At least seven people the Washington Post interviewed said the name for a portion of the property, “Niggerhead,” was visible on the rock at the entrance “at different points in the 1980s and 1990s,” and that a former worker said he believed he had seen it as recently as three years ago.
In an interview with The New York Times on Sunday, Wallar Overton, the son of Perry’s scoutmaster in his home county of Haskell, said the hunting camp is still called by the racial epithet.
“It’s just what it was called from Day One,” Overton said. “I personally am not offended by the name, and I don’t like the word.”
“That’s just what people call it,” he said.