Sunday, October 2, 2011

A World Full of Places Called 'Niggerhead'

October 2, 2011 - I wonder if Herman Cain knows about a town called Nigger Corner in Jamaica? Even in 2011, there are a quite a few places in the world with "Niggerhead" or "Nigger Head" as part of their name. Let me clarify something up front: I do not like, nor do I advocate, the use of the word "nigger." It's an ugly word, with an ugly meaning (even when rappers use it). But it's also an ugly reality that it exists, and that it's still used. Weirdly, there are many places on the planet with "nigger" as part of their name. Cain is accusing rival Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry of racial insensitivity. The accusation by Cain is that Perry allowed the word "Niggerhead" to remain painted on a large rock at an entrance to a hunting ground used by Perry since 1983. (See "Rick Perry's Niggerhead Headache.") Perry claims he painted over the offensive word. Cain does not dispute that, and admits that he doesn't know when Perry painted over it. The land's official name is not "Niggerhead," but has been known as that locally for decades. Texas, however, is not the only place on Earth where you can find an area called "Niggerhead." Sadly, there are others, and for some of them, that's the official name. Here's a partial list: Mount Niggerhead, Victoria, Australia"Mount Niggerhead is a mountain within the Alpine National Park in east Victoria. At about 1826m above sea level, Mount Niggerhead is the eleventh highest mountain in Victoria." More at The mountain was renamed Mount Jaithmathang in 2008, but that outraged Aborigines. "State Environment Minister Gavin Jennings pledged last week to rename the rocky outcrop Jaithmathangs," reported The Age newspaper, "after one of the traditional languages of the Bogong High Plains. But another Aboriginal nation, the Dhudhuroas, says the peak is part of their country and the proposed new name is just as offensive to them as Mt Niggerhead. 'It's a bit like renaming Australia as England,' Gary Murray, co-chair of the Dhudhuroa Native Title Group, said." Niggerhead Rock, Virgina (Photo, top right) Incredibly, the American Studies Department of the University of Virginia refers to this formation as "Nigger Head Rock." Their website says this: "PENNINGTON GAP, 141.2 m. (I,460 alt., 1,553 pop.), is the trade center of a prosperous trucking country. Right from Pennington Gap on State 66 to NIGGER HEAD ROCK, 3 m., an immense rock jutting out from the mountain, which has the profile of a head, neck, and shoulders. JONESVILLE, 149.2 M. (384 POP.) (see Tour 7), is at a junction with US 58." (Photo credit: Wurlington Bros) Niggerhead, New Zealand Niggerhead, Canterbury District, New Zealand is described simply as "A natural elevation of the Earth's surface" by the Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), which is "a New Zealand government department responsible for land titles..." It's elevation is 4,049 ft. See this map and this map. Nigger Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands has this: "This page presents the geographical name data for Nigger Cay in Turks and Caicos Islands, as supplied by the US military intelligence in electronic format, including the geographic coordinates and place name in various forms, latin, roman and native characters, and its location in its respective country's administrative division." Curiously, they list the source as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Bethesda, MD, USA. A search of the NGIA site for "Nigger Cay," however, found nothing. See a map of Nigger Cay. According to Gecko.go, "Nigger Cay is not much of a tourist destination." We understand. Niggerhead Mountain in Los Angeles County, California
See map. This Southern California mountain was renamed "Negrohead" but was later renamed "Ballard Mountain" to honor its first African-American settler, John Ballard. Huffington Post has an interesting article about the renaming of Ballard Mountain. Nigger Bay, Russell, Ontario Kinda makes you rethink the phrase "great white north," doesn't it? See map. Nigger Corner, Jamaica The weather is just fine in Nigger Corner, Jamaica. And why shouldn't it be? It's a sunny land of tropical breezes. Now, I don't know if the locals call it "Nigger Corner," but I get the creepy feeling that they do. Why? See the next listing, where you can... Meet People and Find a Job In Nigger Corner! Seriously, this is a Jamaican dating site. "This is the best place for meeting new guys and girls near you. Chat, flirt, socialize and have fun!" I guess the night life in Nigger Corner is fairly dull. Looking for Nigger Corner jobs? Hell, who isn't these days, right? Visit MPloyd, "where hiring happens" in Nigger Corner, Jamaica. I suspect that the place is actually "Niger Corner," a neighborhood in St. Andrew. It's listed both ways all over the web. But tell that to the folks at Nigger Corner and MPloyd. Nigger's Head, India This is a large rock in the water near the city of Calcutta. See map. There are more places called "Nigger Head" or "Niggerhead," officially and unofficially. I don't have time to list them all here. It's weird that in this "enlightened" era that this is so. But there it is. Sad, but true.