It's Wrong to Call Rick Perry a Racist

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (Getty Images)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (Getty Images)

In his Fort Worth Star-Telegram column, Bob Ray Sanders reluctantly rises to the defense of Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He argues that the GOP presidential contender is no more racist than the next man and that the nation has more important things to worry about than the Niggerhead Camp controversy.

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I will not make a habit of defending Gov. Rick Perry. I promise.

It would not be in either of our best interest — certain to cause some of his supporters on the right to question further his conservative credentials, and most assuredly making my liberal friends wonder about my sanity.

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For some it was bad enough that I recently commended our governor for his stance on providing a college education (at in-state tuition prices) for noncitizen children of illegal immigrants. It's one of the few things Perry and I agree on.

But the latest brouhaha surrounding suggestions of Perry's racial insensitivity forces me once again to rise to his defense.

Believe me, as a native Texan who happens to be black and whose roots go back 150 years in the Lone Star State, I know racism as well as anyone in this country. And I've never been one to shy away from denouncing those who exhibit racist attitudes or tolerate bigoted behavior. For several years, I taught a course at Texas Christian University called "Race, Gender and the Mass Media."

Read Bob Ray Sander's entire column at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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