Careful, Anita Perry Will Start Crying…

Perry Ad From 1990 Stirs Talk of Racism

  • 4 hours ago
  • Critics largely gave Gov. Rick Perry a pass for hunting on a deer lease that once carried an ugly racist name. Even the White House accepted Perry’s explanation that his family found the N-word abhorrent and had painted over it at the first opportunity.

    But two decades after he won his first statewide victory, a TV ad that helped put Perry over the top in his 1990 race for agriculture commissioner is still making racially tinged waves.

    The Perry presidential campaign declined to release the controversial ad this week, and a search on YouTube and other internet video sites turns up nothing. But The Texas Tribune found a copy — for review purposes only — at the Political Commercial Archive at the University of Oklahoma.

    The 30-second attack ad prominently features Perry’s Democratic opponent, Jim Hightower, the incumbent, in a triumphant posture with the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Their hands are clasped together above their heads, and the two men are smiling.

    Below the images, the words flash on the screen: “Does Hightower share your values?” Then, under the photo of the two men: “Jesse Jackson’s chairman.” (In fact, Hightower had endorsed Jackson for president in 1988 but was not his Texas campaign chairman.)

    Aides to Perry said then and insist now that the ad was designed only to tie Hightower to a well-known liberal, but at the time it prompted a furor among black lawmakers. They compared it to the 1988 Willie Horton ad, which used pictures of a menacing-looking criminal, a black man who had been furloughed from prison when Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential nominee, was governor of Massachusetts.

    “The whole point was: There I am with a black man,” Hightower recalled in an interview this week. “It was an overt play to the racist vote.”

    Hightower is speaking out now about the ad, after years of silence, because he finally got a detailed description of it two decades after it aired. Neither Hightower nor any of his former senior campaign staff could find a copy of it either, and he said he felt like he needed to refresh his memory.

    Hightower, who had been heavily favored to win re-election, remembered that the ad gave Perry, then a state representative, crucial momentum in the closing days of the 1990 campaign. Perry narrowly won the race, 49 percent to 47 percent.

    After the ad began running, supporters told Hightower that “a white hand and black hand together” was hurting him.

    “I think today people would reject it,” Hightower said. “I don’t know that you would run an ad like that today.”

    After the spot aired, black leaders called on Perry to take it down. Rep. Larry Evans, D-Houston and the chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus in the Texas House, wrote Perry a letter complaining that it bordered on “race baiting.”

    At the time, Evans was serving with Perry in the House, and he called his colleague “an honorable and racially sensitive man.”

    “We have known each other for a long time, and I am certain that such a campaign tactic is beneath you and that you would not allow such tactics to continue,” Evans said. “Given the foregoing, and in the spirit of genuine racial harmony, please refrain from campaign tactics which appeal to the worse (sic) in us all.”

    Perry, exhibiting his no-apologies campaign ethos, turned the fire right back on his critics. According to a 1990 account in the Houston Post, Perry said the “charge that I’m a racist just because of using a picture of he and Jackson is a despicable, low-life smear.” He refused to pull the ads and said Hightower owed Texans an apology for “injecting racism into this election.”

    Mark Miner, now a spokesman for Perry, said the ad was simply a “contrast on issues between candidates” and had no racial motivation. He said the campaign would not release it because it does not have anything to do with Perry’s presidential campaign. “It’s an old ad that’s not in rotation any more,” Miner said. “We’re focused on the current race.”

    OU’s Political Communication Center, which allowed the Tribune to review the ad, said it did not hold the copyright and could not allow it to be copied or broadcast.

    Back To Top

    This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at


    Dying Declaration


    Citizen Kane is undoubtedly one of the best screenplays of all time. Orson Wellescautionary tale is as socially relevant today, as it was back in 1941.

    The main character possessed the superficial things that many misguided souls in modern society deem utopia prerequisites. A story rich with many of the necessary evils: media, politics, greed, money, and power- a film that subliminally whispers ‘school is now session’ by way of intellectual atonement.

    “Mr. Kane was a man who got everything he wanted, and then lost it. Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn’t get, or something he lost.”

    Kane’s last utterance was perhaps an allusion to the only time in Kane’s wretched life, that he experienced true happiness. In his dying moments, Kane did not lament, nor recall his wealth or power (or even his demise), but a time of great happiness.

    A dying declaration is thought to be sacred, based on Latin theory Emo moriturus praesumitur mentiri, simply put- a dying person is not presumed to lie. Kane’s utterance is a symbolic warning. A simple truth. It wasn’t the childhood sled (Rosebud) that Kane missed the most. Rosebud was symbolic of simpler times when his life was not dominated by blind ambition.

    Sometimes, in the quest for validation, it’s possible to lose sight of who we are, and what really makes us happy. Perhaps, what we THINK will bring us happiness will instead (when  achieved or attained), leave us empty and alone.

    What makes you happy? Does it truly make you happy? Or, have you been conditioned to believe that it will make you happy?

    Live passionately; do what you love-love what you do, love who you will, and share that love with the world.

    Don’t take Rosebud for granted.

    Note: Every now and then a reprieve is in order (if only to remind me that I’m still human). Therefore,a  temporary intellectual escape was required (today), it lasted 3 hours. At times I retreat to the comforts of music, prose, poetry, and my wonderful DVD library. Today, I watched Citizen Kane (again). It inspired me to write this piece. I’m now ready to begin anew. Fighting for what I believe in, fighting for those who can’t (or won’t) fight for themselves, and doing what I can to make this world a better place. Join me. – Annie

    Cemeteries are Peaceful…

    Hugo Chavez may not be the perfect president, but anyone who can tip their hat to the IMF with a thanks, but no thanks attitude, deserves a bit of respect. And, while I may not embrace all of Hugo’s politics, I am quite fond of him.

    In September, President Hugo Chávez’s statement was delivered by Venezuela’s foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro at the 66th UN General Assembly .    I printed the entire speech from the website listed below.   I began reading…and, I couldn’t stop.  Soon, the symbolic, powerful words penetrated my thoughts, plunging down into the black , depths of my intellect.  The simple (and painful) truth of Hugo Chávez‘ s statement cannot be denied. Truth be told, with respect to America, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    “Peace, peace, peace… We do not look for the peace of the cemetery, as said Kant ironically, but a peace based on the most zealous respect for international law. Unfortunately, the UN, through all its history, instead of adding and multiplying efforts in favor of peace among nations, ends up supporting, sometimes through its actions and other times by omission, the most ruthless injustices.”

    Why does the UN do nothing to stop Washington? Because, Hugo, if we give them enough rope they will hang themselves….The imperialists have a people’s revolt on their hands. Yet, I do not hope for the peace of the cemetery. If we’re in the cemetery, we didn’t work hard enough for PEACE. The occupation continues.
    The statement continues: ” I want to call on the governments of the world to reflect: since September 11th, 2001, a new and unprecedented imperialist war began, a permanent war, in perpetuity.”

    It’s true, Hugo, the U.S. war-profiteers continue to feed their blood thirsty appetite, manufacturing fear in the hearts of the castle dwellers. The imperialists bankroll the propaganda peddlers, and there is no end in site. The war on terror is a front created to justify perpetual war.

    It should always be remembered that “saving future generations from the scourge of war” is mentioned in the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations – it’s just a dead letter. From 1945 on, wars have done nothing but inexorably increase and multiply themselves. We see, once again, Libya destroyed and bloodstained by the will of the powerful. We have to look directly at the terrifying reality of the world we live in. It is necessary to ask a series of questions on the basis of the risks and threats we face: Why is the United States the only country that scatters the planet with military bases? What is it afraid of to allocate such a staggering budget for increasing its military power? Why has it unleashed so many wars, violating the sovereignty of other nations which have the same rights on their own fates? How can international law be enforced against its insensible aspiration to militarily hegemonizing the world in order to ensure energy sources to sustain their predatory and consumer model? Why does the UN do nothing to stop Washington? If we answer these questions sincerely we would understand that the empire has awarded itself the role of judge of the world, without being granted this responsibility by anyone, and, therefore, imperialist war threatens us all.

    Washington knows that a multi-polar world is already an irreversible reality. Its strategy consists of stopping, at any price, the sustained rise of a group of emerging countries, by negotiating great interests with its partners and followers in order to guide multipolarity along the path the empire wants. What is more, the goal is to reconfigure the world so it is based on Yankee military hegemony. Mankind is facing the very real threat of a permanent war. The empire is ready to create the political conditions for triggering a war anywhere, and the case of Libya proves it. Within the imperial view of the world, the well-known Clausewitz’s axiom is being reversed: politics is the continuation of war by other means.

    What is behind this new Armageddon?: the absolute power of the military-financial leadership which is destroying the world in order to accumulate ever more profits; the military-financial leadership which is subordinated, de facto, to an increasingly larger group of States. Keep in mind that war is capital’s modus operandi: the war that ruins the majority and makes richer, up to the unthinkable, a few people...

    Humanity is on the brink of an unimaginable catastrophe: the world is marching inexorably toward the most devastating ecocide; global warming and its frightening consequences are announcing it, but their perspective on the ecosystem, which resembles the ideology of the conquistadors Cortés and Pizarro, as the influential French thinker Edgar Morin rightly pointed out, pushes them to continue degrading and destroying. The energy and food crises are sharpening, but capitalism continues to trespass all the limits with impunity.

    Given such a meager outlook, the great U.S. scientist Linus Pauling, awarded the Nobel Prize on two occasions, continues enlightening our path: “I believe that there is a greater power in the world than the evil power of military force, of nuclear bombs — there is the power of good, of morality, of humanitarianism. I believe in the power of the human spirit”. Let us mobilize all the power of the human spirit: it is time now. It is imperative that we unleash a great political counter-offensive in order to prevent the powers of darkness from finding justifications for going to war, from unleashing a widespread global war through which they attempt to save the western capital….

    I want to conclude by remembering the great Venezuelan singer, Alí Primera. In one of his songs he asks us: “What is man’s struggle to achieve peace? And what peace, if they want to leave the world just as it is?” Today more than ever before, the worst crime against peace is to leave the world as it is: if we leave the world as it is, the present and future will be determined by perpetual war. On the contrary, to quote Alí Primera, achieving peace involves radically reversing all that impedes humanity from being humane.

    Read the entire speech here:

    Watch Oliver Stone’s Award Winning piece:

    WordPress Political Blogger

    Rise Up Against The Machine

    The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, now spreading like wildfire across the nation, are the culmination of deep rooted pain & suffering of an oppressed sector of society. And, if current political trajectory continues undisturbed, this oppressed society will soon become extinct; crushed beneath the weight of political favors.
    Historically, the campaign trails are littered with come-ons and one-liners designed to coddle and woo the 99%. But, soon after the ballots are counted, the romance quickly fades. And, like a cheap one-night stand, our self-serving leaders, resume their tawdry affairs with the elite 1%, while quietly and discreetly leaving the interests of the 99% on the nightstand as they disappear into the shadows.
    “He chose poorly” said the Grail Knight of the scavenger… Leaders who choose profit over people-can expect a similar fate. The political scavengers who prostitute themselves for the sake of bankrolling ambition must be held accountable.
    99% of the population holds 99% of the VOTE. Remember that. But, it doesn’t stop at the ballot box. Hopefully, this movement will inspire a new generation of social activists, to sort through the quagmire of special interest and reveal the true agenda of their chosen representatives. And, then (hopefully) they will take the appropriate actions to eradicate the source (vote them out of office).
    Fellow 99’ers, never give up and never give in, even when the odds are stacked against you. The fight must continue: “Everything we do & everything we are is in jeopardy, and because the peril is immediate & unremitting, every person is the right person to act and every moment is the right moment to begin, starting with the present moment. For nothing underscores our common humanity as strongly as the peril of extinction does; In fact, on a practical and political plane it establishes that common humanity. The purpose of action is not to replace life with politics. The point is not to turn life into a scene of protest; life is the point.” (Jonathan Schell).
    We must fight for a better tomorrow.

    Annie Walker-Leonard