Herman Cain and the “National Conversation on Race”

October 15, 2011

Subtitled: Shut Up, You Racist Republican Scum (because “we all know” you are)

Let’s finally have that long awaited conversation, shall we?

What conversation is that, you may ask?

Why, it would be the “national conversation on race” that we were promised we could have now that we have finally…finally…elected a black man to the presidency. Yeah, that one.

Except the “progressives” and Democrats have never shut up long enough about it for us to have a conversation – you see, a conversation is defined as a “spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, opinions, and feelings”. We can’t have a conversation if the one of the components of the conversation only talks and doesn’t listen – there is no exchange of thoughts, ideas, opinions or feelings…that’s a lecture.

Three years after the election of the first black president (technically, he is bi-racial) this constant drone has become less about conversation and more about a tendentious and hectoring tirade. It has finally reached a level that indicates that the people ranting about the ubiquitous presence of “raaaaaaaaaacism!” in the Age of Obama have stopped trying to sway others and are feverishly trying to convince themselves that their obsession with race doesn’t mean that they were the racists all along.

We have all heard it. Conservatives only oppose Obama because he is black – because his policies are so awesome, there simply can’t be other reasons! Question Obama’s birth certificate – “raaaaaaaaaacist!” The Tea Party is obviously racist because they oppose higher taxes and expanded government spending and we all just know that minorities benefit disproportionally from government programs – so therefore: “raaaaaaaaaacist!” The next position from the 2010 mid-term elections was this rhetorical question: how on God’s green Earth could people be “voting against their interests”? An example is this post, appropriately titled: “A Voyage Into The Racial Code Words Used To Attack Obama’s Americanism”, from this April, 2011 post at a “progressive” site called PoliticusUSA from “Rmuse”:

During last year’s midterm campaign season, many pundits on the left were asking why Americans would vote against their own self-interests on issues like Social Security and Medicare privatization. Even with revelations that corporations and the oil industry are receiving tax cuts and subsidies while social safety nets for poor and elderly citizens are being eliminated, there are elderly and poor Americans defending the GOP and their rich corporate benefactors.

“Voting against their interests”? Could it be that the people were voting in their interest? Could it be that the 50% of America who are paying for these issues were voting to protect themselves? Nah. It is racism in code words…”dog-whistle” politics.

This “logic” was on display in 2009:

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, agreed with his colleague that elements of the opposition can’t accept the reality of a black president.

“There’s a very angry, small group of folks that just didn’t like the fact that Barack Obama won the presidency,” Honda said, adding: “With some, I think it is [about race].

Great…a guy who is a member of a Congressional caucus organized by race/ethnicity was pontificating about racism…no irony there.

In that same Politico article, we get a glimpse of the future from Representative Barbara Lee, who curiously is a member of yet another caucus based on race, that the Congressional Black Caucus:

Said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) about the race factor: “There are some issues that have been swept under the rug and we’re now witnessing them come out.”

These race merchants have not been able to complete their racist sale, so we now are using “code words” for racism – “dog whistle” politics…but there is a problem with this strategy as well. In order to even keep the topic in discussion, every word uttered in opposition to Obama – or about him – must be defined as a racist code word. Ace at AOSHQ points to this Washington Examiner report on Ed Shultz’s MSNBC show:

Ed Schultz, host of MSNBC’s the Ed Show, believes that Republican presidential contender Herman Cain is pandering to “white Republicans out there who don’t like black folks” and accused Sen. Jim Demint, R-S.C., of using racist language in his opposition to Obamacare.

On his show last night, Schultz said that Demint, whom Cain has mentioned as a potential running mate, repeated an “old southern racist term when talking about defeating President Obama during the health care debate.” Schultz’s example? He quoted Demint saying that “If we are able to stop Obama on this [health care law], it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” For clarity, Schultz repeated the offending line, “It will break him.”

Dr. James Peterson, director of Africana studies at Lehigh University, explained that “break” is a racist verb, “a term that was used to destroy, mentally and physically, slaves.” Accordingly, the Demint line demonstrated “how dark some of these racial discourses can be in presidential politics.” Peterson said that Cain, by naming Demint as a possible VP pick, “gives those folks a pass” on racism.

Peterson’s claim echoed and extended Schultz’s conclusion the previous evening that Cain, a black Republican, is appealing to white racists in order to win the Republican primary. “You think about white Republicans who don’t like black folks,” Schultz explained. “It’s almost as if this guy is trying to warm up to them and tell them what they want to hear.”

This has become just so much “white noise” (not a racist code word) in the background that it is now the equivalent of tinnitus in the political ear, a baseline of sound that is so constant that it is overlooked and becomes part of the background. The overuse and misapplication of the term “racism” has erased any legitimacy that it might have had. These race baiters only repeat it now to assure themselves that they are not the racists. They are modern versions of Dorothy, repetitively chanting: “There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home!” and hoping against hope that they aren’t trapped in a political Oz of their own making.

Then there is Herman Cain… Cain is a successful black man from Atlanta, a devout Christian, an educated and erudite candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, a man with advanced degrees in math and computer science with an enviable business career. Mr. Cain would seem to be a perfect “black” candidate. Well, except for one little thing – he is a conservative. This being said, these “progressive” racists can’t quite figure out how to attack Herman Cain.

Here’s the first attempt by CNN – it starts with a trademarked “progressive” tactic, the “we all know” defense where a false premise is put forward as fact and the argument is then built on that premise. They count on the reader to just accept the “we all know” premise without question. Via the always on-target James Taranto at WSJ:

Reader Jeryl Bier, who passed along the piece from CNN.com, took offense at the headline: “Cain’s Race Not as Big an Issue With Conservatives as Obama’s Was Three Years Ago.” Writes Bier: “There is absolutely nothing in the article that supports the headline. Where is the evidence that Obama’s race was an issue with conservatives three years ago? On the contrary, his supporters are much more vocal about Obama’s race than his detractors are.”

Taranto’s reader, Jeryl Bier, picked up on false premise. Taranto continues:

True–so true, in fact, that it looks to us as though the headline writer was sloppy rather than tendentious. The comparison is between conservatives’ reaction to Cain today and liberals’ reaction to Obama then, or, to put it another way, between Cain’s and Obama’s appeal to the respective party bases.

The text makes that quite clear. As reporter Shannon Travis notes: “Many conservatives decry the focus on a candidate’s race as an obsession for liberals.” Travis cites an example from a rival network that shows why conservatives are right on this point: “Recently, in an interview with MSNBC, host Lawrence O’Donnell pressed Cain: Why didn’t he participate in the civil rights movement?” This actually doesn’t quite do the exchange justice: O’Donnell, a person of pallor, berates Cain for being insufficiently committed to civil rights half a century ago.

“There’s a second reason that some conservatives, particularly tea partiers, largely ignore Cain’s race,” Travis notes: “it drives a stake through claims that the movement harbors racists.” This seems to us a reversal of cause and effect. Conservatives and Tea Partiers ignore Cain’s race not because they have something to prove but because they didn’t care much about race to begin with.

Democrats and “progressives” have continued the clearly racist argument of “who is an authentic black” or “who is blacker than whom”. This is an argument that I would think that they would want to steer clear of – based on the fact that Obama is half-Caucasian, but they seem to think that it carried some weight as a club against Cain. “Authentic blacks” like Tavis Smiley, Cornel West and Harry Belafonte have weighed in on Cain’s “blackness”. Taranto writes:

Cain has, as Travis notes, “waded into the ‘who’s more black’ controversy–him or Obama,” telling radio host Neal Boortz: that Obama has “never been part of the black experience in America. I can talk about that. I can talk about what it really meant to be ‘po’ before I was poor.” Conservative talkers Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh have puckishly picked up on the theme that, in Limbaugh’s words, “Herman Cain could be our first authentically black president.”

“These barbs from frequent Obama flame-throwers are surely meant as an intentional diss,” Travis observes, going out on a limb. “By any reasonable measure, the president holds the title of being the first African-American to occupy the White House.” True enough, although it’s worth noting–as we did last year–that whether Obama was “black enough” was a subject of intense controversy within the black community in the early stages of his campaign.

Taranto brings it home with this:

If Cain’s race is a bigger deal than Kerry’s or Biden’s Catholicism, it is only because a black Republican is still unusual. That explains why liberal Democrats like O’Donnell are so agitated about Cain’s political rise. By disproving the claim that Republicans are racist, it threatens to dissolve the glue that binds blacks to the Democratic Party.

The Washington Examiner reports that Ed Schultz, host of MSNBC’s “The Mr. Ed Show,” has claimed that Cain “is appealing to white racists in order to win the Republican primary”:

“You think about white Republicans who don’t like black folks,” Schultz explained. “It’s almost as if this guy is trying to warm up to them and tell them what they want to hear.”

These white Republicans are so racist that they’re willing to elect a black man president just to keep black people down. The absurdity of that formulation underscores the left’s desperation to keep the idea of racism alive.

I’ve written here about the many attempts of these race baiters here in Saturation Level Events, The Hole Card and President Hollywood.

The current attacks on Herman Cain are just the continuing attempts of Democrats and “progressives” to employ a psychological defense mechanism called “projection” – “where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.”

Who is the racist now?

25 Responses to Herman Cain and the “National Conversation on Race”

  1. Ryan Aaron on October 15, 2011 at 3:01 am

    THat really is why I would love, somehow, a Cain/Rubio ticket. For nothing else than it would make democratic heads explode messily.

  2. ladidada on October 15, 2011 at 3:59 am

    You know what this reminds me of? There are a few Cubans where I work that recently won the Cuban lottery to immigrate over here. People not native to South Florida might not realize but there is a huge black Cuban population yet you never see any. You think Cuban, you think Hispanic, right? Well, in Cuba’s state run media, they constantly spill lies that Blacks in American have no opportunities, they are mistreated and work like modern day slaves. Then when Barack Obama became president, the state run media found themselves between a rock and a hard place to say the least.

    The things I’ve been reading online from Democrats on race have an eerily similar feel to it.

  3. Steve on October 15, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Well, at least one journalist in the leftist media seems to “get it”…

    A glowing article on Herman Cain …by the AP???. 😯

    I was stunned to read this fair & balanced article by the leftist AP:
    …in particular, was that they treated the issue of race truthfully

    …On Friday night Cain, who is African-American, drew about 2,000 people – some in workshirts and overalls and nearly all white – to a feed barn in rural Waverly, Tenn.

    In Bartlett, Tenn., Cain drew a number of black supporters who were excited at the prospect of a conservative African-American of his stature.

    “To me he represents what MARTIN LUTHER KING was talking about when he talked about his Dream,” Reginald Tooley, a 49-year-old physical therapist from Memphis, said. “With hard work and self-reliance you can do anything you want.”

    Heh… maybe Herman Cain sent chills up & down the AP reporter’s leg?

  4. borkum riff on October 15, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Steve, I will tell once again, your out-of-control Cain posts have a good chance of looking ridiculous a few months from now.

    The facts are:
    *Cain has little or no money
    *Cain has little or no organization
    *Cain has spend little or no time in key primary states

    These are not the characteristics of a winning candidate.

    The nomination is decided on a state-by-state basis, and the candidate with the superior political organization is usually going to win.

    Superfluous national polls mean very little in terms of primaries, Steve. Why are you wetting yourself over every one that comes out? If Cain is steamrolled in Iowa and New Hampshire, as is likely, he doesn’t have much future.

    If he can put it together, I’m all for him. He has solid conservative principles and is great on the stump. Anyone stopping Romney is welcome.

    But you need more than a few ephemeral polls. Based upon his reluctance to engage with the nuts and bolts of a political campaign, you have to wonder how serious he is. Palin turned out, ultimately, to be more interested in selling books and capitalizing on her political fame. One wonders if the same interests are really what is motivating Cain.

  5. ken_phd on October 15, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Borkum riff:

    “Based upon his reluctance to engage with the nuts and bolts of a political campaign, you have to wonder how serious he is.”


    Where did that comment come from?

  6. Steve on October 15, 2011 at 8:28 am


    If you’d read, you’d see my post is about “The Media” and …unlike yours 😳
    …my comments are actually “ON TOPIC”

    The topic is about “RACE”, and the article and my comment reflect exactly that

    Not really sure what your fixation is with me – but you’ve made your point…
    and I’ve dismissed it. 😯 Save your silly scoldings for your kids

    …And I will tell you once again
    I will not EVER be embarrassed for aggressively speaking out against the weakling jellyfish ®’s or the Rino-hacks that they want to mindlessly choose, who will only betray us and stab us ALL in the back later. I will not EVER be embarrassed for standing up for what I believe in — so save your 0bama-like lectures for somebody who gives a damn about what you think.

    If Cain defies the odds, then GREAT!!
    …and if he doesn’t, then at least some of us with a spine tried to do something other than mollycoddle the backstabbing establishment pricks like the rest of the weakling ®’s who would foolishly destory the nation with Rino Amnesty McPerry.

    Is that clear enough for ya, Riff…?

  7. kellsbells on October 15, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Borkum, I think people relate to how genuine Cain is. When he stumbles, he doesn’t seem to sidestep; he confronts it. He comes across as a true conservative leader. I truly hope you”re wrong about ulterior motives in his campaign to run. Although…. I’d buy his book:)

  8. borkum riff on October 15, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Steve, with all due respect, you come off like a total and complete schmuck with most of your posts. I certainly was not attacking you (although I am now) nor supporting RINO candidates as the nation is about to slide off the edge of the cliff, and you have no evidence to the contrary. That type of ad hominem attack on your part is actually quite revealing–it reveals a weak mind.

    I’m trying to tell you to stop acting like a preteen girl with a crush–it’s freaking embarassing and frankly irritating as hell to read your emoticon-ridden gushes for Cain that you drop all over PP like so many mouse turds.


    Does that work for you, Steve? Or do you wish to continue on like a hormone-addled pubescent? Frankly I’m guessing the latter.

  9. Steve on October 15, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Like I said, save your lectures for your children.
    This is a political site, for political junkies…
    …and I really don’t care if my posts offend you

    And try to have a nice weekend, crybaby 😥

  10. Steve on October 15, 2011 at 10:01 am

    “Superfluous national polls mean very little in terms of primaries”
    well, then the following superfluous polls are just for you Borkey… 😛

    The italics% on the left is from the Oct 11th
    …The bold% on the right is today’s RCP average:

    21.7% -to- 23.5% – Romney …(+1.8)
    16.3% -to- 23.2% – Cain …(+6.9)
    14.7% -to- 12.8% – Perry …(–1.9)
    7.2% -to- 8.3% – Gingrich …(+1.1)
    8.0% -to- 8.0% – Paul …(+0.0)
    4.8% -to- 4.7% – Bachmann …(–0.1)
    2.3% -to- 1.8% – Huntsman …(–0.5)
    1.2% -to- 1.6% – Santorum …(+0.4)

    Like I said… This is a political site. Deal with it, or go play world-of-warcraft…

  11. Mad Dog on October 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Looks like someone forgot to change borkum riff’s diaper this morning–at least I hope it’s only been since this morning.

  12. ken_phd on October 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Borkum riff:

    “Steve, I will tell once again, your out-of-control Cain posts have a good chance of looking ridiculous a few months from now.”

    I must say, you certainly seem overly concerned about Steve’s posts. Who reads 2-3 month old posts on a political blog? Do you?

    Political blogs keep everyone up to date on the latest political news. Polling research results are usually of great interest. Steve does a good job there.

    If you are concerned about people looking rediculous, perhaps you should re-read your own post.

  13. Steve on October 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    …Ken does well cutting through the BS, and getting right to the point 😉


  14. setnaffa on October 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Ken_phd and Steve are two of the reasons I read this blog.

    The amateur Marxists-and Obamanizers pretending to be Paulists-are just the price one pays to read cogent commentary…

  15. OccupyPolipundit on October 15, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    LOL….Herman Cain got his “999” tax “plan” from….yep, the SIMS video game.

    What next….does he want to convert US currency to Simoleons?

    What idiots align under your Republican Banner.

  16. Steve on October 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    “What idiots align under your Republican Banner”
    --- un0ccupiedBrain

    The question you useful idiot’s should be asking is:

    Why are Nazis aligning under your Liberal Banner?

    No doubt, you fools will embrace their support.

  17. Reinhard Heydrich on October 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I’m channeling OccupyPolipundit at this very moment!

  18. Bunu2 on October 16, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Take it for what its worth, but I have to somewhat agree w/Borkum that Steve is over-doing it with the Cain cheerleading. It is becoming annoying. People on here give acroso/invalid10 a hard time for his over-doing it with pro Ron Paul postings in the past. Lately, Steve is easily exceeding what acroso ever did.

  19. unclefred on October 16, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Hey BunU2

    There is one different between people who are posting Paul facts and people like Steve. Paul’s positions, good and bad, are well known and we’ve seen his 11% or so cap in support for a long time. Paul has NO shot at the nomination.

    Despite Borkum’s statements to the contrary. Cain is proposing new and novel ideas, which are stirring up a great deal of discussion. He has broken into the first tier of polling numbers for the Republican nomination and is still gaining momentum and support. More simply put most of the updates on Cain are political news, including comments by various prominent pundits and political and economic writers. Steve makes no secret of his support for Cain he is the counter voice against the prevailing wisdom and hacks that repeat Cain has no chance.

    If you are annoyed by Steve’s comments, I suggest you do not read them. There are a number of commenters here who I generally skip for exactly that reason.

    Disclosure. I like Cain, but am aware of the many factors that make his nomination unlikely. I am fascinated by his candidacy, and think that ruling him out at this point is premature, as such I do not find Steve’s comments annoying.

  20. Bunu2 on October 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    unclefred, let’s be honest, from what I’ve read about you on here, you are a Cain Cheerleader too. you pretending now to be sanguine re: Cain is a bit of joke. As for Ron Paul having no shot at the nomination, I would say anyone at this point still has a shot. I know you Cain cheerleaders, want to seal the deal, but it is far from over. When Cain’s positions are further scrutinized (and there are some weak points as other, more level-headed posters, have already stated) in the weeks ahead, I expect his recent poll numbers rally will fade away in a similar fashion to Perry.

  21. Steve on October 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Probably the most annoying thing about my comments is that I predicted Cain’s popularity when most were still dismissing him and I predicted Rino McPerry’s obvious flaws and his downfall when the weakling jellyfish RedState ®’s were still cheerleading him, despite his LaRaza embracing, open-borders amnesty idiocy.
    So, if I ticked you off because you supported Rino McPerry — then GOOD, you needed to be smacked upside the head for being such a gullible weakling ®ino…
    …Oh, and have a nice day…!!

  22. batman on October 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    “the SIMS video game.”
    At least get the joke right, the rates match that of defaults for SC4 not The Sims.

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