Wallace Jefferson, the first black chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, said the hunting ranch name controversy is “much ado about nothing” and argued the implication that Rick Perry is insensitive to matters of race is flatly wrong. Jefferson, who was appointed to the post by Perry, and whose great-great-great-grandfather was a slave owned by a Waco district judge, said the reality is quite the opposite: Perry “appreciates the role diversity plays in our state and nation.”
Jefferson said he can recall his first conversation with Perry, in 2001, like it was yesterday. They talked about how Jefferson’s father and Perry had both been Air Force officers. Jefferson said Perry shared his view that in all circumstances, merit mattered, not race.
“To imply that the governor condoned either the use of that word or that sentiment, I find false,” Jefferson said.
But the WaPo has never let the truth get in the way of a good smear against a Republican.
Even some of Perry’s fiercest Texas critics say they do not believe he is racist. They point to his record of appointments as evidence: He appointed the state’s first African-American state supreme court justice, Wallace Jefferson, and later made him chief justice. (Jefferson’s great grandfather was a slave, “sold like a horse,” Perry once said with disgust.) Perry’s former general counsel and former chief of staff, Brian Newby, is black; so is Albert Hawkins, the former Health and Human Services commissioner who Perry handpicked to lead the massive agency in 2002.
“He doesn’t have a racist bone in his body,” said former Democratic state Rep. Ron Wilson, who is black and served with Perry in his early years in the Legislature. “He didn’t then, and he doesn’t now.”
Added Dallas Democratic Sen. Royce West, who is also black: “I don’t agree with him on policy issues, but you can point to many things he has done that were sensitive to ethnic minorities.”
And the chances WaPo is going to print this to rebut their previous slander? I’m going with fat to none.
Indeed, in his 11-year gubernatorial tenure, Perry has appointed more minorities to statewide posts — including university regents and secretaries of state — than any governor in Texas history. The biggest beating he’s taken on the campaign trail so far? His unwavering support for granting in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants in Texas.
“Texans need to see that no matter where you come from, the color of your skin or the sound of your last name, that if you are willing to work hard and play by the rules you can become anything you want in this state,” Perry said in a 2010 interview with The Dallas Examiner.
This is the Rick Perry that I support. The Rick Perry that deserves the truth, not more Demedia lies. And Herman Cain needs to find the truth and publicly defend Perry’s record. He has publicly cooperated with the Demedia in unfairly smearing his name. That deserves a public apology.