How the G.O.P.’s Own Race Bias Set Herman Cain Up to Fail

2 Nov

Like manna from heaven.

by Yvette Carnell

The fix is in. The sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain, and his ever-evolving rebuttals, are the beginning of the end for our campaigning songbird. For those of us who’ve been playing close attention, the great unraveling of Cain’s campaign was only a matter of time. His skirting of tough political questions, imprecise 9-9-9 plan, and lack of professional campaign staff all sealed his doom.  And, assuming Rick Perry’s come down from his high by now, he’s sure to take advantage of the way in which Cain is mucking things up.

But the bigger question is, how’d Cain catapult to the front of the line when many establishment Republicans –including Karl Rove and Charles Krauthammer – were not so quietly warning that Cain wasn’t anywhere near ready to head up the Republican ticket? How did a man who’d never won elected office (he had run and lost) get the green light to mount a presidential bid? The answer:  Race.

This, of course, is nothing new. Both Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain are the beneficiaries of a particularly pernicious strain of affirmative action that serves the G.O.P.’s rhetorical position, their pawns, but not the country. The rendering of black people as the ornaments of diversity, rather than incarnations of it, is one of the essential reasons why blacks clash with  conservatism. As a consequence of our past, we are a freedom loving people.  In theory at least, we’ve got no problem with principled conservatism, but we do have a problem with being used. That is what we see when we watch Cain and Thomas jibber jab on about boot straps and “up from” characterizations of blackness.

Although it makes many black folks cringe, this brand of “do for yourself” blackness, which includes no critique of white racism, pays off in spades for black, and mostly lackluster, conservatives. Both Thomas and Cain were encouraged onto the prime time field of play by self-interested conservative factions long before they were ready, solely because of their currency as contrarian, not to be confused with competent, Negroes.

Cain may very well have been a competent, even exceptional, CEO, but whatever skills he accumulated in the business arena don’t translate well in the political arena. He’s charismatic, sure.  But he’s been flying by the seat of his folksy pants for a while now, which was all well and good until he crashed head first into a concrete controversy. Meanwhile, Thomas sits on the highest court in the land and piggybacks on Justice Scalia’s logic, offering very little in the way of his own independent legal introspection.

So it just smacks of hypocrisy when Republicans are so unabashedly anti-affirmative action in their public policy, but are unwilling to eliminate the practice within their own ranks.

To say that blacks approve of affirmative action has never been the equivalent of saying we approve of substandard achievement.  It’s not about getting a leg up, but getting the opportunity to do battle on a level playing field.  To us, Obama is an achievement, not because he’s had a successful first term (I’m one of his most vocal detractors), but because he beat Hillary fair and square. Cain and Obama can’t play on that level, so the only question is -who left the gate open?


18 Responses to “How the G.O.P.’s Own Race Bias Set Herman Cain Up to Fail”

  1. Kim November 2, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Very good article. Sums up Mr. Cain’s rise and fail very well in a single word: RACE!

    • Olin Ross November 4, 2011 at 7:36 am #

      Cain you fool, you reaping just what you sow….This is what you get when you are brainwashed, a dame fool………………

      • Olin Ross November 4, 2011 at 8:04 am #

        Cain you are really showing your ghettoism ……Now you are really re-enforcing what most White Folks think we Black men are: oversexed, clowns, ignorant and stupid…..

        Cain you are a disgrace to Blacks…….You surely do simulate Cain of the Bible……
        Well I guess this old saying “you can take the boy out of the country but you can not take the country out of the boy” is true. ……

  2. David2001 November 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    Along with Thomas and Cain former republican party head Michael Steel falls into that “particularly pernicious strain of affirmative action that serves the G.O.P.” category as well.

  3. Anonymous November 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Speaking of Michael Steele, he is now sobering up in his new sidekick position graciously offered to him by liberal leaning MSNBC. All that faisty aggressive behavior each time he was on set during interviews has suddenly left him. Now, he tries to appear reasonable and calm. Mad man!!!!

  4. Thomas November 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Herman Cain was spinning his wheels at the bottom of the GOP pack for some time with a multitude of other candidates, and didn’t get a pass to the top with me because he is black. Cain rose to the top once he started getting attention on a national level because of his strong conservative politics, his debate successes, the fact that he is not a career politician and his success of turning failing companies around. So please don’t speak for me and lots of other conservatives who like Herman Cain for who he is and for what he stands for, and not because he is black.

    • Otis L Griffin November 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

      to profess conservative values is to be applauded, most americans do ( I believe).To expect this person who ran a business for profit , basicly supplying others to stuff pizza into boxes , with all that reqs -Franchises , etc, . But cannot remember his own personal past ( not each minute), detail, general, ie , high school , college . 1st gig ., to pocess the skills to Be POTUS is a heck of a stretch.

    • Olin Ross November 4, 2011 at 7:46 am #

      This is much to do about nothing…….He got to be an imbecile or brainwash or both if he think White America Republicans will vote him to be the GOP nominee……
      This is a comedy charade produced, directed and performed by the Koch Brothers along with those dingbat repubs….

  5. Leslie November 3, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    GOP uses black figureheads to manipulate and then claim, hey the GOP / Tea Party is not racist. Of course if said black figurehead goes off the plantation, he/she is then ostracized and well taken care $$

    See Michael Steel now with MSNBC Clarence Thomas, SCOTUS and surely Herman Cain newest Fox News conservative , ala Juan Williams ?

  6. Bob Simpson November 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Cain also came from the working class and then turned against it as head of the National Restaurant Association, opposing decent wages and healthcare for food service workers. He has continued to express nothing but contempt for working class people in his public speeches.

    Now with the charges that he sexually harassed some of his own employees while at the Restaurant Association, he is finding out the bitter truth about an old cliche,” Be nice to the people you meet on the way up, because you meet the same ones on the way down.”

    • Eric Harriel November 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

      I have not decided who I am going to support. However, Cain is trying to help Americans by running for pubilc office. Just because he makes his effort through the Republicans does not mean he has turned his back on us African Americans. Sometimes a change is needed. The Republican Party voted to end slavery. Most blacks used to vote Repub. The Democratic Party voted social welfare. Most blacks now vote Dem. I personally think it is about time for our people to rely less on public welfare and more on estabishing our own economic power base like everyone else. The Dems lately have kept our families in a state of disrepair with policies that only respect women and gays. The Repubs have only looked out for the rich. I am neither of the above. I am still looking for a candidate, and party does not matter.
      Also, we African Americans should be wary of people getting punished just for allegations. How many of our people never got a fair trial?

      • Meanchick November 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

        Herman Cain has referred to blacks as brainwashed and a few other insults. He thinks racism today nhasn’t held anyone back, he suggests that if you aren’t rich, then it’s YOUR fault. How is he planning on helping the 99% of us he seems to despise? Blacks DID vote Republican a LONG time ago when the parties had different platforms, nothing like what it is today, no comparison. Also, the people who hold the highest percentages of welfare recipients are WHITE, not black. It’s comments like that that perpetuate stereotypes about blacks and welfare. If you’re talking about relying less on assistance, you open another can of worms; deadbeat dads who dont pay child support. WHERE are the mothers supposed to go when “daddy” won’t help? If more deadbeats paid child support, there WOULD be less reliance on assistance. Also, public welfare includes, widow’s benefits, retirement bebefits and the list goes on. Most people dont know all of this is considered welfare. And corporate welfare? Dont get me started. I agree that we need to step up and pay attention to politics more, stand up in our communities and ask questions until you know what you need to know, but we tend to abandon our black leaders when we should stand strong with them.

  7. Pantherdunc November 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    I don’t want to sound like a broken record but, where in the world is J.C. Watts? I can’t for the life of me figure out how Cain is being put out in the forefront and Watts is nowhere to be found.

    I am not a Teapublican and am a black American, who by the way is not “brainwashed” and can think on my own. Despite the Teapublicans telling black people that we as a group are having a hard time having to see a conservative black male, really cries out that they need to look in the mirror on this issue. The Teapublicans have a total disconnect with black America.

    One last thing when was the last political rally that was held for black Americans where they live? Our inner cities do not see the Teapublicans but yet they want us to approve of their policies from the past and present.

  8. Eric Harriel November 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    That was pretty slick, trying to link Cain with Thomas. However those are two entirely different men. I did not want Thomas confirmed as Supreme Court Judge, but I did not appreciate the gossip theatrics. I do not know enough about Cain’s agenda, but I do not appreciate this male/female relationship issue. American woman are notorious for getting revenge when matters do not go their way. But, it is hurting our country and economy. We could have continued the policies of Clinton through Gore and possibly not gone through the war and economic downturn of the Bush administration. It was because of the sexual allegations against Clinton. We are in crisis. Whether Cain did it or not is far less important than the needs of our country at this time. These women have waited this long. They can take him to task if he loses or after his term. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few in this case.

    • Meanchick November 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

      Excuse me? Women are to blame now? These women did not step forward, someone leaked the story and their names. They had nothing to do with this story coming out, so kill the “women did it” dramatics. “American women are notorious for getting revenge when matters do not go their way?” WTH? Another stereotype? WHAT does that have to do with anything except YOUR contempt for women, excuse me, AMERICAN women! You didn’t bother to get the facts and check this, had he NOT sexually harassed anyone, he wouldn’t be butt hurt right now! You WISH women ran the world, there would be a lot less grandstanding, posturing and BS being thrown back and forth and we’d get it all done before lunch.

  9. Leslie November 8, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Has Herman Cain now become another Michael Steele / Sarah Palin ?

    GOP has created monster and everybody walking on eggs.

    Complete silence from leading GOP candidates.

  10. Anonymous November 10, 2011 at 7:03 am #

    Rick Perry making Bush Jr. look like a genius.


    “I will get rid of 3 departments, Commerce, Education and ……………….”

    awkward silence.

    My guess, since he’s from Texas, he meant the EPA.

  11. Anonymous December 4, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    What is going @ Atlanta ?

    First Bishop Eddie Long problems and now Herman Cain ?

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