Rick Perry's 'Niggerhead' Ranch vs. Michael Jackson's 'Neverland' Ranch: Which is Stranger?

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When we first wrote about Rick Perry's "Niggerhead" Ranch, we were struck by how it phonetically reminded us of another infamous getaway spot: Michael Jackson's "Neverland" Ranch.

Both were occupied by larger than life personalities. Both ranches had names that raised eyebrows, especially given who the occupants were.

How do the two size up against each other? Which one is more unsettling and strange?

Let's compare and see!

LOCATION
Niggerhead: Throckmorton County, Texas
Neverland: Santa Barbara County, California

LOCAL COUNTY DEMOGRAPHICS
Niggerhead: 95% white, 1% black, 9% Hispanic (who can cross identify)
Neverland: 70% white, 2% black, 43% Hispanic (who can cross identify)

OCCUPANT(S)
Niggerhead: Per the Washington Post, Joseph Ray Perry, the Governor's father, took over the lease in 1983; Rick Perry's name was also on the lease from 1997-1998 and from 2004-2007.
Neverland: Michael Jackson lived there from 1998 to 2005; the ranch began foreclosure proceedings in 2008; the future of the property has been in doubt since Jackson's death in 2009.

OCCUPANT'S OCCUPATION
Niggerhead: Texas House Representative (1985-1991), Agriculture Commissioner (1991-1999), Lt. Governor (1999-2000), Governor (2000-present)
Neverland: King of Pop (about 1984 - disputed...either until "Black or White" in 1991, Jackson's death in 2009, or for eternity)

OCCUPANT'S HIGHEST ASPIRATION
Niggerhead: President of the United States (next window: January, 2013)
Neverland: King of Pop (achieved)

WHY THE RANCH NAME IS AWKWARD
Niggerhead: It was called Niggerhead!!!!! (Noteworthy: Perry did not choose it, had sign painted over.)
Neverland: The name refers to the island in Peter Pan where children go to never grow up; Jackson was repeatedly accused of and charged with molesting children. (Noteworthy: Jackson chose this name.)

WHAT THE RANCH WAS USED FOR
Niggerhead: Hunting, entertaining politicos
Neverland: Amusement park rides, a petting zoo, sleepovers with children with cancer.

MOST NOTORIOUS ATTRACTION
Niggerhead: "Niggerhead" sign
Neverland: Ferris wheel. Bumper cars. Statues of children.The bed Jackson reportedly shared with kids.

STRANGEST RACIAL QUAGMIRES FOR OCCUPANT
Niggerhead: Governing a border state and needing a practical immigration stance to get the Hispanic vote in Texas, Perry now needs to demonize undocumented immigrants to get through the Tea Party and Republican base in the presidential primaries. (Also, leased ranch called "Niggerhead.")
Neverland: Began life as a black male, ended up looking quite a bit like a white woman. (Also, allegedly fathered three seemingly white children.)

OCCUPANT'S STRANGEST SURGERY
Niggerhead: Despite being against stem cell research, Perry underwent a highly experimental and ethically questionable stem cell procedure for back pain.
Neverland: Jackson underwent so many plastic surgeries, this happened to him:
MOST CONTROVERSIAL COMMAND OCCUPANT GAVE TO CHILDREN
Niggerhead: An executive order mandating girls receive a vaccination for HPV.
Neverland: "Hey, kids, come spend the night!"

So, which one is more strange? Hard to say. "Niggerhead's" problems are more focused while "Neverland's" are more sprawling. Yet "Niggerhead's" problems involve someone on the rise, while "Neverland's" are about someone who is deceased and whose beloved music seems to have largely silenced much of the criticism about the other aspects of his life.

Most importantly, although "Neverland" is just a stone's throw from Ronald Reagan's Santa Barbara County Ranch, it is "Niggerhead" which could become the next Rancho del Cielo or Prairie Chapel Ranch as the next Western White House.

We're just happy that, when it comes to controversial language and black people, the talk is about Rick and not Tyler Perry for a change.

sthrasher@villagevoice.com | @steven_thrasher

Related: Rick Perry and the Curious Case of 'Niggerhead' Ranch

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21 comments
JEB
JEB

THIS IS DESPICABLE!!!!

Ren
Ren

This is such a dumb  comparision!!!

Dwi
Dwi

The term "niggerhead" is a nautical one, commonly used in the days of sail.  It is synonymous with the word "capstan". 

A capstan is a vertical- axled rotating machine developed for use on sailing ships to apply force to ropes, cables, and hawsers. 

Only in our "gotcha" world of snickering "wee wee" journalism we've descended into would this merit such a banal article.  As far as I know, it never had any racist connotations.

Not that you won't make one us now.

Sarah Kathi
Sarah Kathi

No children were reported to be molested at Niggerhead Ranch. Neverland Ranch...different story.

tiredofhypocrisy
tiredofhypocrisy

Why is the ranch named Niggerhead?  If ANYONE at the Village Voice had one ounce of journalistic integrity they could find that out.  It was not named so by the Perry family who discontinued the name once they leased the property.  Guess we can't report facts -- just smears.  But then, the Left knows no other way.

Whitesheperd
Whitesheperd

Real ignorance was Michele Jackson playing with little boys

Whitesheperd
Whitesheperd

I looked up Niggerhead Texas, it list it's population and all.....Perry did not create this, it existed and still does.....this is your 2012  Media campaign for Barry....the usual suspects on the View are offended, although they say the word repeatedly in the circles they hang out in, it's a weapon of the left.

Tempest4
Tempest4

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that we aren't talking about the elephant in the room or more to Rick Perry's taste the gorilla in the room. I want to know how in the hell the parcel of land that his family has leased for years came to be known as "Niggerhead" in the first place. We know southern trees bear strange fruit and more importantly we know WHY. Do Texas rocks have similar offspring? Do those stones hide secrets six feet underneath? Would these rocks bleed if forced to tell their tales? WHY is this place named Niggerhead!!! That is the question I want to ask Rick Perry.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Are you INSANE?  How dare you compare my beloved MJ's home to this mess in TX!  This is an insult to MJ fans around the world.  MJ stood for love and peace, he was not about insulting people.  Rick Perry's ignorance should be compared to one person, Rick Perry. 

Don't ever insult MJ like that again....A fan of MJ 4 ever!

Shadowking15
Shadowking15

you should be FIRED.YOU probably need to go back to Journalist school.

Arul Banerjee
Arul Banerjee

This is the DUMBEST FUCKING ARGUMENT I EVER HEARD! REALLY!?  LET HIM REST IN PEACE

Epac
Epac

Steven - you know what they say...when you piss people off, chances are, you're doing something right! :-)

Parky Bill
Parky Bill

Wish that I was at old N****r Head
Off in the West Texas hills
Ain’t no colored folks on N****r Head
Ain’t no telephone bills.

Once I had a girl on N****r  Head
Half Black the other half Sp*c.
Paw found out and smacked me on the head.
Learnt my lesson real quick!

N****r Head you’ll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ole N****r Head, N****r  Head is for me!
N****r  Head is for me.

Once two darkies came to N****r  Head
Wanting to integrate
Darkies ain’t come down from N****r Head
Reckon they met their fate.

Catholics ain’t allowed at N****r  Head
Ain’t no Muslims or Jews
Just white folks with guns at N****r Head
Keep that out of the news.

N****r Head you’ll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ole N****r Head, N****r  Head is for me!
N****r  Head is for me.

— Instrumental —

I’ve had years of forced civility
Living with pigs in a pen
All I know is it’s a pity we
Can’t be racists again.

N****r Head you’ll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ole N****r Head, N****r  Head is for me!
N****r  Head is for me.

N****r  Head is for me….**************Now THAT’S SATIRE!!!

http://www.billschmalfeldt.com...

jason mate
jason mate

Brilliant in using Michael Jackson ´s name in your article to get clicks to your very pathetic attempt at writing fiction. One tip: Dont hold your breath for the Booker Prize.

Brad10
Brad10

What a silly article, racist and prejudicial. This is what we call journalism these days?

Jdg6385
Jdg6385

Steven Thrasher. You'd be better off not talking. It makes you sound very stupid.

Bighouse8thst
Bighouse8thst

 Hey Steven Thrasher, are you serious? Are you really attempting to make a comparison? Well just so you know ...You comparison makes no sense or is non sense. It's not strange at all the the Perry family has the ranch. I'm willing to bet that if an investigation were started and the land searched properly we would find out exactly how the ranch got it's name. There is a very good chance that there is a mass grave on the property from the people that were hunted on that property.  If you meant this as a joke it's not even funny!

Cecebeasley
Cecebeasley

Tempest, that it is the first thing I wondered about!  How many have died there?  It is not that name for nothing.  We know or let me say, everyone should know the history of this country.  It is shameful and painful for a lot of people and not just black people.   When you study our history, there were many whites who sacrificed their lives so blacks would have rights.  They did it because it was the right to do.  We have got to get past this or it will be our undoing.  Oh, by the way, I am a very proud lady of color and the grandmother of two beautiful granddaughters.  I was taught to love and have taught the same to my children and now teaching my grandchildren.

Guest
Guest

Almost certainly named for some feature that someone thought looked, for PC's sake, like a black person's head.  

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