Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has come under fire after the Washington Post reported yesterday that he hosted friends and lawmakers at ranch that featured a rock inscribed with the word “Niggerhead” on it. Perry’s camp has sought to discredit the story, but in an interview with Time Magazine today, former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who is African American, said the revelation is “very troubling on some many levels, for so many reasons.” “So, I’m sorry — my attitude is just remove the rock,” Steele added, “Just get rid of the rock.”
Steele appeared on MSNBC this afternoon where he elaborated on his criticism of Perry:
STEELE: We cannot be lackadaisical about these issues. We cannot be insensitive in that regard and say well just paint over it, because it still is a reminder of what’s beneath the paint. And I think again that’s what irks a lot of African Americans and a lot of minorities when it comes to how the Republican Party and sometimes its individual candidates respond to these types of things.
African-American GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain also criticized Perry, telling ABC News yesterday that the ranch name is “just plain insensitive towards a lot of black people in this country.”