“I’m not racist – I supported Herman Cain!”

by R. Hurst on May 6, 2011

in GOP 2012,Politics

So it looks like the Republicans have their cover. I can only imagine future conversations between liberal and conservative family members at Thanksgiving going something like this:

“So Uncle Francis – I hear you don’t care much for President Obama.”

“Well, I just don’ think Obama is… something just don’t seem right. I don’t trust him.”

“Why is that?”

“First off, he’s a Muslim.. and I don’t know anything about his background. He grew up in Kenya – he just doesn’t love this country.”

“Indonesia – the President spent a small part of his childhood in Indonesia.”

“Well – wherever it was, it ain’t here!”

“I get the feeling Uncle Francis that you are uncomfortable with the fact that President Obama is black.”

“Hey – you callin’ me a racist?!”

“Not exactly – but if the shoe fits…”

“I resent that – I supported that Cain feller until Donald Trump announced he’d be runnin’!”

Forgive me for this somewhat exaggerated example of the average American Thanksgiving political conversation. After watching all my brain could handle of the Republican debate before turning into mush last night – I spent some time trying to determine how the party loyalists responded to the Obama-bashing-nutjob-fest. I was surprised to learn that many are falling in love with Herman Cain.

(I should add as an aside that anybody interested in Rick Santorum should not just Google him by his last name. If you Google Santorum you will find what is known as a “Google bomb” – wherein search results are manipulated to reveal a rather unfortunate result. In the case of Santorum, some activist bloggers have defined his name as the frothy byproduct of male homosexual sex. I’ll leave it at that. Be ye warned.)

Now I see why Herman Cain would be appealing to conservatives right now. He is a new face who has not completely exposed himself as a reality-show fraud (although it seems that reality show stardom is becoming the new Republican litmus test). He has had success in the business community and does not represent the establishment in any way. He is an effective communicator and seems relatively intelligent. I have never personally understood why business acumen was in any way relevant experience for a politician – but when you deify Wall Street thieves it makes sense to want to have somebody from the “free market” running things.

Below is a clip from FOX’s post debate analysis:

First, this seems really contrived to me. Granted there were no real serious candidates other than Pawlenty on stage – but give me a break. I listened to how people reacted to Ron Paul and know that some of their focus group had to believe that he won. Does FOX expect us to believe that the snappy concise and talking-point-esque answers to the “one word or phrase” question were not pre planned? I will give them the benefit of the doubt but remain highly skeptical.

After listening to, reading about and watching the Herman Cain post-debate love-fest, I came to realize that it was not at all about Herman Cain. It was about Barack Obama. You see there is a famous phrase many whites use to defend themselves against the accusation of racism or homophobia (among other forms of bigotry) – “I’m not racist, I have Black friends!” Or “I’m not homophobic, I have gay friends!” I think the temporary (until the serious candidates officially enter the race) support of Herman Cain is going to be proof that constant post-rational critiques and even hate of President Obama are not race motivated because “Hey, I supported that Cain feller!”

I hope that I am wrong – and will be watching closely to see if I am. Nevertheless, I fear that I will be right. It might not be as explicit as the racism exhibited by the birthers. And it might not be as public either. But it will surely be shield used by many a birther-in-recovery (those who are no longer birthers after seeing the birth certificate – the term “after-birther” is used to describe those who remain unconvinced despite proof) to deflect the accusation of racism against their person.

No longer will the national joke Alan Keyes be the token black guy. The Republicans have a new black friend – and his name is Herman Cain.

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