There are numerous things I actively do (and don’t do) to avoid potentially and unnecessarily violent confrontation. While others honk at and flip off motorists who’ve upset them, I smirk, shake my head, and take solace in the fact that my car would literally f*ck their car up if I wanted it to. I don’t date women with accent marks or hyphens in their names. And, if your nightclub has undergone three name changes in the past two years, you probably won’t find me there.
Why do I go through these lengths? Well, one of my goals in life is to be a 60 year old black man. And, from what I understand, it’s very difficult to be a 60 year old black man if you get shot to death before you reach 60, so I try to live in a way that decreases the likelihood of that happening.
Now, 60 isn’t an arbitrary age. It’s important for me to get to that point because I want to shake hands with a Martian (I figure we’re around 30 years from making that happen) and, more importantly, I want to enjoy the same filterlessness that my dad currently does.
As anyone who has a 60+ father, uncle, or grandfather in their lives will tell you, 60 is the age when men (black men in particular) lose their filters and any sense of self-consciousness and will say anything they want to about anybody at any time. I desperately want to make it there too. I literally cannot wait for the day when I’ll be able say things like “Does your mother know that she raised an idiot?” to a city council man’s face and be able to get away with it.
Anyway, this filterlessness makes for entertaining conversations. So, you can imagine what I was expecting to hear the other night when I asked for his opinion about Herman Cain.
His answer — “Well, I have to say that he hasn’t said or done anything really stupid yet” — stuck with me for two reasons
A) The bar for politicians is so low that “Well, at least he’s not an idiot” is a ringing endorsement. Seriously, can you imagine if other industries had the same low expectations? Can you imagine seeing a Chick-fil-A ad that says “Well, at least you won’t get Salmonella“?
B) My dad, a revolutionary who occasionally rocks black berets and still says things like “solid on down,” isn’t turned off by Herman Cain
My mom — who’s not quite as revolutionary as my dad, but possesses the most potent bullshit detector on Earth — entered the room soon after. I asked for her opinion, and she basically said the same thing.
Now, I realize that this could just be some type of mandatory kinship speaking — a mandate from high (or Morgan Freeman perhaps) that when any black person 60 or over is doing anything remotely positive, every other 60+ black person must immediately give them the benefit of the doubt. But, the feelings from my Black Panther-ass parents made me rethink my own thoughts about Cain and why I possess them.
I have to admit, I hadn’t even considered giving dude an honest chance. Part of it has to do with his name (“Herman” is just a silly f*cking name to me. It feels like something someone should name a dog.), but the main reason why he was thrown in the “Don’t even consider this n*gga” pile is that The Tea Party people — you know, those cats who generally seem to abhor us and think the president is from Jupiter — seem to love him, never a good sign. Also, with the exception of Colin Powell and (maybe) Condi Rice, every black republican I can think of just seems to have a general aura of lame around them. It’s like they’re perpetually engulfed in a spiderweb of wackness.
Cain may very well be the Antichrist. But, it’s not fair to him for me to immediately assume that he’s the spawn of Satan just because he’s black and he happens to belong to the 2011 GOP, and it’s not fair to me to be so intellectually apathetic when deciding on a leader. There’s absolutely no chance in hell that I’d actually vote for him (Seriously. If you’re a close friend of mine and you don’t vote for Obama in 2012, you might no longer be a close friend of mine. Yes, it’s that serious.), but I can at least listen to what he has to say.
I mean, he is a 65 year old black man. That guarantees that he’ll at least be entertaining.
Anyway, people of VSB.com, I’m curious: What are your feelings about Herman Cain? Is he Uncle Ruckus, another republican reactionary, or the realest motherf*cker alive?
Also, did the fact that he’s a black republican influence your opinion about him before you even heard what he had to say?