Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rick Perry's "Niggerhead" Hunting Camp

Just saw this story:
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. 
“Niggerhead,” it read.
Lovely.

That reminded me of when I worked on a purse seiner (fishing boat) in Alaska. Every seiner has a winch drum - a large, hydraulic-powered, rotatable drum (you can see it clearly at 2:19 of the video I linked) - around which you could throw a line to winch something, like the net, into the boat. I was told it was called the "niggerhead." Because you throw a rope around it. (Get it? Get it? Funny, huh?) Pretty sure they're still called that on all or most seiners up there.

Maybe it relates somehow to the source for the name of Perry's camp? Maybe it was a logging or oil term, too? I dont know. Just occurred to me.

Update: More on the word.

3 comments:

  1. And I'm not trying to give Perry a break - this was the 1980s!

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  2. I have a rhyming dictionary from the 30's that has both niggerhead and negro-head listed...

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  3. Weird. People over at the WaPo are saying "it used to be a common term for lots of things - it's not racist!" Without taking into account that the term, however used, may have been coined with racist meaning in mind, and ignoring that nobody - and I mean nobody - in Texas could see that word and not think "ni**er" and racism.

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