House Republicans voted Thursday to set aside a resolution calling on Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry to apologize for leasing a hunting ranch called “Niggerhead.”
The resolution offered by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) also called on other Republican presidential candidates to condemn the word, and it asked Perry to name all of the lawmakers and financial supporters who had hunted with him at the ranch.
“If my motion for someone that might stand in front of me as a member of Congress and share with me their vision, potentially, of the United States fails today, it simply suggests that the Congress of the United States is painting over a profound problem that exists in this nation,” Jackson explained. “I personally would be offended that the Congress of the United States would not understand the gravity of this resolution by granting members an opportunity to vote on the specific arguments laid out by The Washington Post for which they have offered their story.”
“Mr. Speaker, nigger is offensive. Niggerhead is offensive. And for a governor of one of the great states of our nation to hunt at Niggerhead ranch, it’s offensive, and I think that I’m expressing the moral outrage of all Americans.”
“A resolution merely asserting the position of the House with regard to an external issue cannot be used as a question of privilege,” the acting Republican chair noted, before ruling that the resolution did not qualify as a question of privilege.
Jackson immediately appealed the ruling, but 230 Republicans (and a single Democrat) voted to table that appeal.
Herman Cain is the only Republican presidential candidate so far to say that he finds the term “Niggerhead” offensive.
Watch this video from C-SPAN, broadcast Oct. 6, 2011.