Proof of Rick Perry's Racial Insensitivity: Mentioning Jesse Jackson in an Ad?

Following in the shameful steps of the Washington Post, the Times on Monday again tried to use the long-standing racially offensive name of a hunting camp leased by Texas Gov. Perry's family to imply that Perry, a Republican presidential candidate, was guilty of racial insensitivity: 'For Perry, Texas Roots Include Racial Backdrop – Hunting Camp Name Has Put Focus On the Other Side of His Origin Story.'

The text box was not exactly a smoking gun: 'An early life in which exposure to diversity was not a common feature.'

Reporters Deborah Sontag and Manny Fernandez's anecdote-heavy, evidence-free report even managed to wring some guilt-by-association out of Gov. Perry having graduating from Texas A&M:

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who often waxes nostalgic about his small-town roots, grew up in an almost all-white rural area where many referred to slingshots as 'niggershooters.' One elderly black resident recalls being introduced by her boss at a party decades back as 'my maid, Nigger Mae Lou,' while just four years ago, a black high school student found a noose in his locker.

In 1968, Mr. Perry left home for Texas A&M, a deeply conservative university whose yearbooks early in the century included Ku Klux Klan-robed students and a dairy group called the Kream and Kow Klub. The school, having just graduated its first two black undergraduates, was in the early throes of desegregation; at the end of Mr. Perry's four years there, blacks still made up less than 1 percent of the student body.

It's not the first time the paper has singled out Texas A&M for offensive protests against a president who happens to be a Democrat. In October 2009 reporter Michael Brick filed a naive, condescending report on "fearsome" anti-Obama protests on the Texas A&M campus, as if posters of Bush as Hitler weren't a requirement at any decent campus protest during the preceding eight years.

While the Times admitted 'Mr. Perry appeared to have moved well beyond his racially sheltered background' by appointing a black justice and signing a hate crimes bill before once again tarring "affirmative action bake sales" protests by campus conservatives as racist.

Black enrollment has inched up now to 3.4 percent of the student body, and racially charged episodes - a blackface video, an anti-affirmative action bake sale to protest the hiring of a vice president for diversity - occur from time to time, Professor Jewell said.

The Times rehashed a meaningless Jesse Jackson anecdote from the Washington Post:

In his early political career, Mr. Perry occasionally offended African-Americans and Hispanics. In his 1989 race for agriculture commissioner, for instance, he emphasized his opponent's endorsement of Jesse Jackson for president, running a commercial that many perceived to be aimed at white voters in East Texas.

In 1992, he attacked Bill Clinton for accepting donations from trial lawyers by saying, 'Every Jose in town wants to come along and sue you for something.' In 2000, as lieutenant governor, Mr. Perry, whose great-great-grandfathers fought for the Confederacy, ardently defended Confederate symbols on display in the State Supreme Court building.