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Blacks to Herman Cain: You're on Your Own

The former candidate isn't an embarrassment to the race, just himself. My, how far we've come.


Blacks to Herman Cain: You're on Your Own



For quite a long spell in African-American history, each of us has had to bear the burden of the race on our shoulders. Custom and tradition -- and intense desire for equality -- dictated that we mind our manners and avoid personal acts and activity that would make the entire race look bad. Thus, we were skittish about eating chitterlings and watermelon, especially in public. Washington activist Petey Green eased some of that with a riotous routine on how to eat watermelon (not properly with a knife and fork).Amos 'n' Andy was booted from both radio and television, a banishment spearheaded by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People that persists to this day.

We were also saddled with guilt about poor grammar and incorrect English, "bad" hair that we tried to ameliorate with conks (remember Malcolm X?), processes and other straighteners, skin whiteners and certain cuss words (in particular, the dreaded 12-letter, four-syllable insult that begins with "m"), and we were to avoid or chastise those who violated the unwritten rules of deportment.

We even tolerated and laughed along with a white comedian, Lenny Bruce, who evoked laughter with his shtick mocking Joe Louis' inarticulate interviews after dispatching the white hope of the week.

"Well, Joe, what do you think about the fight?" went Bruce in his nightclub performance.

"Ahhhh, arrrrrah, ughhh, I glad I win ... blah, blah, blah, Deetroit." 

Indeed, we were embarrassed.

But no more. That was then. In the interim, we progressed to the point where not even the buffoonery of a Herman Cain can make us shudder and shrink into the shadows to hide our faces. There was a time when such antics would have been comparable to Amos 'n' Andy. But declaring ultraconservative billionaires the Koch brothers his "brothers from another mother" and describing himself as "black-walnut ice cream" only drew snide snickers and disdain from many nonsupportive African Americans.

His ignorance of the war in Libya and President Obama's foreign policy fell only on his shoulders, not the rest of us. His long pauses and poor answers to questions about policy issues that presidents confront daily reflected solely on him. 


I've found no one who pays much serious attention to his comments and behavior, certainly no one who has felt embarrassed by them. Cain is on his own to say what he wants and act as he pleases. He does not burden an entire race. He may be straight out of central casting for black exploitation, but that does not bother most of us.

"He's just stupid," a black, politically savvy grandfather in Chattanooga, Tenn., told me. "He knew he had all that baggage in his background before he ran. He is not qualified to be president."

No embarrassment there.

I attribute the change to a general maturing of the African-American community. We all settle down and take life in stride as we grow older. But probably, more significant was the advent of hip-hop and rap, the music and culture beaten into the rest of us by youngsters of the inner cities. Their steady, loud, pounding sounds and harsh words, along with a huge popularity, literally forced the rest of us to take notice and to accept the inescapable barrage of profanity and racist, sexist ranting and raving -- in fact, to look beyond the trappings and see the serious side.

In an op-ed in the New York Times titled, "Amos 'n' Andy in Nikes," with a subhead, "Gangster rappers vs. the rest of us," I noted that E. Franklin Frazier's observation that the black bourgeoisie represented the "manners and morals" of the black community had been undermined by rappers.

Nevertheless, the hard-core softening blows of rap inured us for the coming antics of the Herman Cains of the world. When late-night television hosts and other comedians lampoon him, we know they're after Cain, not us. Most of us knew he was never a viable candidate for the Republican nomination; it seemed everybody but right-wingers was aware of that.

And what did Herman Cain get out of it? A lot of attention to grease his outsize ego, a lot of money from speaking engagements and book sales, and bragging rights to say that not only did he run for president, but for a brief moment, he was actually the leader in his

race. But now he'll have to assess, with his family, whether the ride was worth it. The rest of us are not embarrassed one way or the other. Free at last?

Paul Delaney is a frequent contributor to The Root.


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"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins









Last edited by sunnubian
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Actually, Herman Cain is not on his own. 


He has AA's who really understand his pain & suffering.... Supreme Court Justice Clarance Thomas, "unavailable at the moment" Mr. Orenthal James "OJ" Simpson and Mr. "Calabasian" himself, Elderick "Tiger" Woods as confidants; true supporters of Cain's ilk who understand his troubles and also cherish his core beliefs and value systems as probably the only true/distinct "post racial" Black men who have and continue to be forever grateful; always on bended knee in gracious & utmost praise, kissing the ring and stroking the hands of their White "parential figures" benefactors....well maybe not OJ at the present moment but, we all understand.


I would just love to be a fly on the wall if those four (OJ on good behavior work release) ever sat down in a room together by themselves and had a serious four-way discussion!

Last edited by Cholly

  Nawl....I disagree with the title....CAIN is an embarassment to the race.  Cuz the first THANG he did was talk down to blackfolks as if he was better just cuz he had a white supporters.  Now....who's LAUGHING now big man?  They chewed you up and spit you out all at once.  Didn't think they would do did ya?  See that's what he gets from talking out the side of his mouth.  As if  I guess he forget he was a manwhore.  What black a matter of fact, what MAN  do you KNOW is gonna "help" a woman out without getting sex in return.  AND...not tell his own wife if it was sooooooo innocent?  Cain thinks folks are a fool.  Aint' nobody fallin for that but those women who he tried to pay off.  But!  The big thang for me was his over the top arrogance....and the way he implied that folks need to go look for if  there were tons of jobs available.  To me he was talking to blackfolks.  As if most of us are LAZY and don't wanna work.  Ha!  This is funny as HELL!!  Cain with his foot in his mouth.  He was used by massa just like he used women.  The big pay back!  Ha!  What they say? God don't like ugly...and... brotha Cain is ugly to the bone.  But!  I'm just sayin 

LOL ... yep, it's amazing to me how ARROGANT Republicans/White folks can be sometimes!!    It's like either they think that money can somehow shield them from the dirt they do ... or that they are just untouchable because they're White (or think they are, for the Black ones!!) and that sense of "privilege" and "entitlement" makes for some kind of Teflon coating that none of the bad or crazy shyt they do will ever come back and stick on them!! 


And sadly, in some cases it doesn't!!!  Because, they got rid of Cain for being a philanderer/sexual harasser/adulterer .... but then they flock to Gingrich who we KNOW has slept around AT LEAST twice .... has been reprimanded on ETHICS violations for stealing and misusing money WHILE IN Congress as the Speaker of the House (the highest, most prestigious position in the House of Representatives!) ... and has been shown to have taken money (bribes) from governmental agencies!!! 


And I mean, DAMN!!!  That's only the things we KNOW he's done because he has been PUBLICLY busted for doing them!!  There's no telling what other CRIMINAL skeletons are hiding in his closet right about now!!


I mean ... I know Cain's no 'walk in the park on a Sunday afternoon' .... but, really .... I gotta ask myself ... is Cain, with an uncontrollable urge to chase down and pounce on White women like a 'dog-in-heat' really worse than an money-embezzling, home-wrecking, liar who uses public money for his own personal gain??  

Quote by ER: "I mean ... I know Cain's no 'walk in the park on a Sunday afternoon' .... but, really .... I gotta ask myself ... is Cain, with an uncontrollable urge to chase down and pounce on White women like a 'dog-in-heat' really worse than an money-embezzling, home-wrecking, liar who uses public money for his own personal gain??"


According to White Republican folks? Yes.


Herman Cain is worse than embellezing, thrice married/adulterer/cheater Gingrich because (1 ) the timing of their events (2) Cain, to his sheer ignorance & arrogance while snuggled up nesting in the warm bosum of White folks, gets only ONE chance and one chance only, to mess it up, no second chances whereas Gingrich has numerous chances to mess up yet his White brethern, no matter how disgusted, will forgive him because he's a "cheating" White man who cheated with/disrespected White women (and both White men/women who forgive Gingrich, wish they could somehow cheat or get out of their marriages) and (3) Cain cheated with White women and not Black/minority women, which would have probably been a rather different response by Republicans if those 5 women he harrassed/cheated with were Black....And if Gloria Cain were White, they would have roasted his ass ESPECIALLY if he cheated on her with a Black woman.


White folk truly believe that Blacks and Whites have totally different livestyles and overall prespectives regarding how life really works and for people like Cain, I have seen my shares of "Herman Cain's" over the years who "forcefuly with much passion,  the keepers of the gate of the White castle" love the warm smothering embrace of Whites and their biggest threat?


Not White folk but Black folk who they see as "professional ladder climbers" a direct threat to their successful well being as the "one and only" Black that has gets all their overall praise, all their "country club" perks and family acceptence and because of that warm feeling of security, they don't want another Black brother or sister to ruin or interfere that for them......"I made it, I am their "one and only boy" and in order to keep it that way, I will do whatever's possible to protect myself and keep it that way.


They seldom talk to Blacks in the workplace or at corporate social events, they don't teach/mentor or want to be seen "plotting"...... 'gathered among the crowds" of Black folk at work or after work...majority of the time, skinning and grinning with White folks...And why?...because they are constantly sweating & scared to death, can't relax, walking on pin & needles hoping that White folk don't see any traces of Blackness in them....Clarance Thomas, Tiger Woods, OJ. Herman Cain and the many others throughout corporate America hoping to not be outed.


And when they come around "pretending" but actually looking for some dirt, please don't tell them anything because they will take it back and tell on you or while in the corporate board room meetings/briefings/presentations, use it against you to make you look bad so that they can get their usual "that's a good boy" pat on the head.


Look through the quarterly/semi-annual/annual company year end report publications that all corporate employees get. Photos and bios of upper level senior management....All Whites and only one Black, maybe two.......That one "Black" is Herman Cain and I will bet you that he professionally/personally saw to it (and continues to do so)  that another qualified Black male or female (probably more so than him) did not get a chance to have the opportunity or maintain that high level of corporate success.


Crabs in a barrel?


Crabs in a barrel with a bag of rat poison and a butcher knife.

Last edited by Cholly

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