Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is circulating a resolution condemning Texas Gov. Rick Perry's longtime use of a hunting cabin named "Niggerhead" as a destination for friends and supporters.
The Illinois Democrat made his case at the House Democratic Caucus today, maintaining that Perry's association with the racial slur merits an apology from him and for all GOP presidential hopefuls to "make strong statements of outrage" according to a draft of the resolution.
"He believes that all Americans are offended by this and he believes this is a moral issue," spokesman Frank Watkins said, adding that Jackson "would like to see bipartisan leadership on this issue; Democrats and Republicans, not just members of the [Congressional Black Caucus] alone, to consider leading on this issue with a privileged resolution."
"Leadership has not yet discussed" Jackson's resolution, a senior Democratic aide said.
The resolution came in response to a Washington Post article published Sunday about the name of the hunting property that Perry's father Ray began leasing in the early 1980s. Gov. Perry added his own name to the lease from 1997 to 1998, when he served as state agriculture commissioner, and again from 2004 to 2007, while he was governor. According to the Post article, Perry acknowledged that the racial slur once etched on the rock at the entrance to the estate is an "offensive name that has no place in the modern world."
According to the Post, the etching has since been changed, but some locals still refer to the property by its racially charged title. Jackson made the case to colleagues that the new information about the would-be challenger to President Barack Obama next year merits actions from the House. Jackson's resolution, which has not been officially introduced, cites much of the information included in the Post story and notes that "some local residents still call it 'Niggerhead.'" The resolution also asserts, "Governor Perry grew up in a segregated era whose history has defined and complicated the careers of many Southern politicians."
The name of the Perry family property drew the ire of another GOP presidential hopeful, Herman Cain, who is the lone African-American candidate in the Republican field. But it has not garnered much action from Capitol Hill lawmakers, and it is unclear whether Jackson's resolution will see floor action.