Like crabgrass and broke relatives, racism keeps popping up in America.

You would think that with a Black president and all, this country would be much further along when it comes to racial relations, and from time to time we lie to ourselves and say it is.

At this very moment, while GOP presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry is taking well-deserved heat for using an inherited North Texas hunting lease named “Niggerhead,” racism deniers are clamoring.

The tea party, a group to which Perry has claimed allegiance, is leading the chorus.

This is why: Nearly four centuries after the first African slaves were landed on this soil, Americans are still dealing with this hideous and corrosive problem.

Here this man who is putting himself before the nation in a bid to become president has been taking friends, colleagues, campaign donors, politicians and captains of industry on hunting trips from 1985-2008 to this place where a painted rock was prominently displaying “Niggerhead” at the entrance.

Somehow conservatives, with radio personality Rush Limbaugh at the head of the pack, don’t see this as racist, or at the very least, say it doesn’t mean that Perry himself is racist.

Perry’s staff released an answer to the Washington Post story that revealed this obscenity, stating that when the governor took over this hunting retreat—a Perry family possession—from his father in 1983, he painted over the sign and turned the rock over so the name would be out of view.

However, with several reports by people who live near the Throckmorton County plot as sources, it was revealed that the sign has been on the display as late as 2008 and that even now the offending name can still be seen faintly beneath a coat of paint.

Yet there are few calls for him to get out of the Republican primary. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, a Democrat, was dogged into resigning because he exposed himself to a few women on the Internet. And this kind of nudity is worse than a legacy that saw tens of millions savaged, raped and worked to death?

These are supposed to be Christians. Where are your consecrated souls now, Tea Partiers?

They are proclaiming that the sign at the property is no proof that Perry is a racist or tolerates racism.

This is a man who has talked of Texas seceding from the U.S. on the basis of state’s rights, a core tenet of the Confederacy and resistance against all federal civil rights laws.

As lieutenant governor in 1999 Perry helped kill a Texas hate crimes bill. As governor, he tried to repeal the hate crimes law that bears the name of lynching victim James Byrd.

In 2000, Perry wrote in a letter to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, “I want you to know that I oppose efforts to remove Confederate monuments, plaques and memorials from public property (in Texas).”

Responding to Hispanics filing lawsuits, Perry famously said, “Every Jose in town wants to come along and sue you for something.”

When called on it, he said anyone who thought that was a racist statement was wrong.

All of this shows that racism is not just a Perry problem, it is and for an indefinite period of time, shall be an American problem.

(Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune.)

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