Racism is the belief that people of different races have different qualities and abilities and that some races are inherently superior or inferior. The Tea Party wing of the Republican Party has been charged with being racist and there are many examples to confirm that point.
Now, however, this group of conservative extremists has pushed Herman Cain in the polls as today’s front runner for the Republican nomination. The Tea Party believes that since Herman Cain is black that shows that they are not a racist party, that anyone, regardless of race, who shares their values, can belong to the Tea Party. This is mostly true. What is also true is that Cain is just as prejudiced against black people as any other Tea Party member.
For blacks, Cain is a big disappointment. Instead of being the guiding light to the Republican Party for African Americans, he says that African Americans who vote Democratic are brainwashed and can’t think for themselves. In other words, he is showing his own superiority over inferior blacks who vote Democratic. Not only is he a racist but he is also guilty of self- hatred.
Instead of a testimony on his business success through education, he believes that he achieved his status entirely on his own. When he graduated from high school in 1963, he could not enroll in any college simply because he was black. The United States used Jim Crow laws to deny Cain entry to college because blacks were legally considered inferior.
Cain’s overconfidence was on display when he told the Occupy Wall Street protesters that the fact that they are not rich is their own fault and they should blame themselves.
The protesters, though, see things differently. If their taxes had been used to save Wall Street, the financial system would have collapsed as it did in 1929. Because of Wall Street’s financial problems many Americans don’t have jobs and many homes are in foreclosure.
The truth is, Herman Cain does not want to be president. His campaign sponsor is the Republican group, Americans for Prosperity, which is apparently a political subsidiary of the Koch brothers. Many view him as a paid spokesperson for the group. Plus, it looks good for the Republican Party to have a black man running for the party nomination. But that strategy could backfire. Cain may actually win the Republican nomination for president — and what a blessing that would be.
Another clue to Cain’s disingenuousness is that he doesn’t really have a campaign staff and he hasn’t raised any significant money. He recently put out a campaign ad with his
manager smoking a cigarette. Surely he must have expected Americans to be turned off by that but it ended up being a YouTube sensation. After all, who smokes in a presidential campaign ad?
Another sign of his insincerity is his book tour. Instead of campaigning, he is traveling the country selling his autobiography. But while he is working hard to lose the Republican nomination, rightwing extremist love his rhetoric and refuse to let him go.
Herman Cain, for what it’s worth, highlights the beauty of America. Anybody, regardless of race, can be successful. Not everyone has the same resources nor does everyone have the same opportunity; however, everyone is free to follow his or her dreams.
So, no, Herman Cain does not prove that the Tea Party isn’t racist but it does prove that anyone with racist views can be a part of the Tea Party.
In the Bible, God asked a different Cain where his brother was. That was Cain replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” It’s a fitting response for today’s Cain. He does not represent the majority of African Americans.
John Dudley is a local model, actor and freelance writer living in Miami Beach. He may be reached at Mrinvestor2u2002@yahoo.com
Photo: John Dudley