Late Night: Stephen Colbert: Rick Perry's camp not racist
Stephen Colbert has made no secret of his admiration for Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry (or, as he likes to call him "Rick Parry"). On Tuesday night's "Colbert Report," the host took the opportunity to defend the Texas governor, whose family hunting camp used to be known by a racist name.
"The hunting camp was evidently called...how do I put this?" Colbert wondered. First he tried charades, gesturing "sounds like" and pointing to a graphic of Tigger. He finally opted to play a clip of Perry's presidential rival, Herman Cain, saying the offensive name in question (video below).
His reasoning? "Herman Cain can get away with it, because it's OK for black people to call each other's family hunting camp that." Dismissing the controversy as "much ado about nothing," Colbert insisted that "many presidents have vacationed at questionably named resorts."
"Richard Nixon used to go fishing at Jews Control the Media Creek. Even Barack Obama spends a lot of time at Camp David, which until recently only admitted white presidents," he joked.
Colbert read aloud from an article posted to a conservative website which traced the word's supposedly innocuous etymological origins: "The word in question is a technical term meaning many things such as 'the striking weight on a pile driver,' 'an isolated coral head,' or a 'black iron post for mooring ships.'"
In his typically ironic style, Colbert pointed out the fallacy of the argument. "See? It just meant anything that was dark and bothersome, that you would pound on the head or tie a rope around. Nothing offensive about it, OK? Let's move on."
-- Meredith Blake