In Which We Inform Samuel L. Jackson About N-ggerhead

By
Samuel L. Jackson at last night's benefit. Photo: Patrick McMullan

On Sunday morning, the Washington Post ran its bombshell story about the racist name of the a hunting camp that the Perry family has leased on and off since the early eighties. But by Monday night, when we caught up with Samuel L. Jackson at a benefit for the Children of Bellevue's Reach Out and Read Program, the actor still hadn't heard about it. So we looped him in. All things considered, he took it pretty well. In fact, he wasn't surprised at all.

NYM: What do you think about the controversy surrounding the name of Rick Perry's hunting camp?
SLJ: How do I not know about it? What's the name?

NYM: I'll show it to you.
SLJ: Niggerhead?

NYM: Yes. Does that surprise you?
SLJ: No.

NYM: Really? You honestly aren't surprised?
SLJ: I grew up in the segregated South, nothing surprised me. [Laughs.] That's not surprising at all.

NYM: I guess Herman Cain came out condemning it and he caught a bunch of backlash from other Republicans.
SLJ: Well, that's just what they're going to do. But it's not going to hurt Perry's reputation in a whole lot of places, so it's not a big deal.

NYM: You don't think so?
SLJ: He'll be fine.

NYM: You don't think he'll be affected by this scandal?
SLJ: No! Are you serious? He's a Republican and this is America.

NYM: Can you elaborate?
SLJ: He'll actually gain respect from a lot of people that he didn't have respect from before. He'll be all right.

While we were on the subject, we asked Jackson if he agreed with fellow thespian Morgan Freeman, who caused something of a ruckus recently after he claimed that the tea party is racist. "It’s pretty obvious what they are," Jackson told us. "The division of the country is not about the government having too much power. I think everything right now is geared toward getting that guy out of office, whatever that means," he said, echoing Freeman. "It’s not politics. It is not economics. It all boils down to pretty much to race. It is a shame."