Race & Politics

Herman Cain: Uncle Ruckus or The Realest Motherf*cker Alive?

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?

—The Champ

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Curious Capital
  • VenturaCountyStar

    He and President Obama are similiar in their politics; they just have different approaches. Neither of them are interested in serving the interests of the working class. We aren’t friends but I can’t see myself voting for a president who doesn’t represent my interests.

  • but what if herman cain is really a spy sent to infiltrate the gop? he could win the election and be like “gotcha b*tch” and switch it up on his party. he would try to get bills passed like “3 day weekends” where the federal work week would be tuesday through friday. or he could try to legalize weed.

  • Wow, I’m Number 1?

    The Herman Cain types are no where near revolutionary imo because they are ready to kiss the YT’s arse at any convenience. At least Michael Steele pretended like he was down for the cause because he liked fried chicken and potato salad and used wack hip hop references. But seriously, I never gave Herman Cain a second thought, mostly because he seems to come off as uneducated and close minded as the other yahoos in the running field. They all are trying to out crazy each other in hopes to win a talking spot on Fox News, a speaking arrangement and book deals. It’s cynical as hell…If i’m not #1 anymore, damn…

  • Loving Me

    I told myself I would give him an honest chance to prove himself at least worthy of my attention and then he went and said that he was too young to participate during the Civil Rights movement… despite the fact that he was born in 1945 and was a college student at Morehouse during the sixties. And when the interviewer mentioned that, he said “well maybe I had a sick relative” … that was the point where he lost my attention and any respect I may have given him for at least being a black man in the position to run for a Presidential nomination. As far as I’m concerned, the man is a puppet for the Tea Party because they need at least a portion of the black vote (and so they can say they aren’t racist) but he’s too stupid (for lack of a better word) or self absorbed to realize that he’s nothing more than the token black guy of the Republican party

  • Rog

    The fact that he was purposefully non active during the Civil Rights movement despite attended at freakin Morehouse (of ALL the colleges) during some of the pivotal moments of the movement has soured me a bit on him. I mean you have an opportunity to be apart of one of biggest events of in the history of America and your chillin on the bench, just doesn’t sit right with me.

  • Hi VSB Family!

    First, let me answer Champ’s question with a link to a Paul Krugman article: http://www.pkarchive.org/trade/company.html

    Here’s a quote from the article that particularly applies to Cain (and, for that matter, Romney):

    “It’s not that economists are smarter than businesspeople. They simply think a different way. Economists deal with the closed system of a national economy, whereas executives live in the open-system world of business.”

    Second, it’s with great pleasure that I invite you to take a glimpse at The Married Bachelor, the comedy web series for which I’m a producer and writer. The series is about Al & Brenda, a newlywed Black couple that negotiates the tension between their married life and the carefree lifestyle of their single friends.

    The following link will take you to The Married Bachelor‘s Kickstarter page, where the creator A. Marquis Smalls (who isn’t me, by the way) explains his motivations behind the series. Enjoy. And please spread the word!

    The Kickstarter link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/424979093/the-married-bachelor

    The Same Guy Who Brought You Wave Cap Willis and Boron the Negromancer

  • I think he is a mixture between Uncle Ruckus and a Real Motherf*cker. He got some respect from me b/c he put with the white people bull**it while walking up the corp. ladder.

    Also, did the fact that he’s a black republican influence your opinion about him before you even heard what he had to say?

    Not really. He is pretty cool compared to the rest of the clowns vying for the republican nomination. History shows that the modern Republican party (1990 on) loves to run regional candidates for president. So guys like Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman who probably could win the general election is basically unelectable in the primaries. B/c people in the south vote on issues (like the candidate’s religion for example) not pertaining to his capacity to govern.

    I actually think Herman Cain is jockeying for position. B/c the republican party probably think they can split the black vote if he is on the ticket.

  • DQ

    He is Great Grandfather Ruckus, progenitor of all Ruckii. He is so delusional and so far to the right, I fully well expect the man to report himself to Homeland Security as being suspicious.

    The Tea Party loves Cain, the same way you love a jump off… (i.e. they don’t). Oh you’ll invite a bust down to a drunken evening of bed room chicanery, but you don’t actually want to be stuck with them forever. The Jump Off occupies down time, and is shown the door once they served their purpose.

    And what is that purpose? Herman Cain is the “best friend that’s black” that proves the Tea Party isn’t racist. He allows them (for now) to claim that they actually disliked Obama for his policies and not his blackness, even though they disliked him before he ever set policy.

  • Kamala Jones

    I’ll likely vote for Obama but it gets on my last nerve when Black people act like if Obama isn’t reelected we (Black folks) are going to be in a worse position. I doubt that would happen to us and if it would, we’d survive it. But, getting back to Herman Cain, I think I’d have more fun hanging out with him than Obama. Herman Cain has a PhD in Black barbershop ig-nun-ce :-)

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