The Post-Racial Tipping Point?

Confused? Me too. This is how I feel right now.

Last week we looked at Herman Cain’s place in the Black community…well, now CNN is claiming that Cain’s race isn’t as important to conservatives as it used to be. And it’s got me ponderin’.

See, I’m baffled. Damn near dumbfounded. I almost feel like I’m sitting in some alternate reality where Michael Jackson is Black and it doesn’t matter if you’re Black or white.

Why, you ask?

Well, for the first time in history, it seems like nobody in the Republican party realizes – or cares – that Herman Cain is…wait for it…

…wait for it…

…Black.

Now either the majority of Black people are indeed full of sh*t or something odd is going on. For years, Black folks have been shown, taught, and reminded that race was as important a factor in our lives as our education, money, or Tyler Perry. There’s a popular meme in the Black community that no matter who you are or how much money you have, you’re still just an educated n*gga with money.
Yet, somehow, Herman Cain seems to be in a plausible position to push forward and actually secure the Republican nomination for President. Is it possible that we could have two Black men competing for the nations’s highest position?

Like, for real?

Just to keep it gully, I think Justin Bieber has a better chance of making it into a BET cypher than two Black men running for President, against each other. I think that welllllll before we get to the formal nomination Herman Cain will say something else ridiculous (akin to his belief that people in that small Tennessee town were right to stop a mosque from being built on land owned by the Muslims building the mosque or electrocuting Mexicans) or somehow fall out of favor. Will it be solely because as we get closer, white people will somehow wake up and realize, “hold the phone, that’s a Black man up there”? I don’t know. And to be fair, I don’t actually think that everybody’s racist.

But I can’t lie, I’m surprised by the fact that for the first time in Black history, a man’s policies and principles seem to be touted by the party that currently and almost intentionally seems to have the least amount of color amongst their representation. I’ve seen coworkers sing his praises with happiness and tout his plans. And yes, Virginia, they’re white.

Hank Williams, Jr, in the now famous segment that got him kicked out of Monday Night Football lore, said that Herman Cain was the only GOP candidate that made any sense.

Hear ye, hear ye. Hold me.

Would his ascension to the Republican nomination be proof that we are truly living in a post-racial world and that the vast majority of us Black folks complaining about race need to shut up? No. I will forever feel like white people view certain members of our populace as exceptions. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Herman Cain, etc. These aren’t regular Black people.

They’re different.

And they’re all politicians of sorts. Herman Cain’s biggest asset seems to be knowing how to say what white people want to hear. It’s a true skill, trust me.

Interesting enough, all of the racial rhetoric coming out of the GOP involving Cain seems to be coming from him. He seems to be touting a certain type of dissociated Blackness, which is why so many Black people don’t trust him. He’s speaking all of that “you can do it because I did it, by myself” non-sense that gets many people labeled modern day Uncle Toms. It’s an interesting sort of alienation politics that grants him good favor amongst white people (his entire base at this point) and pisses off nearly every Black person within a 1-mile radius. Even his alma mater (and mine), Morehouse College, isn’t exactly singing his praises right now. And amongst the HBCU circuit, this might be the first time nobody wants any part of this competition.

While there is some truth to what he’s saying – for a significant portion of us, our failures are largely our own doing – to ignore the centuries of institutionalized racism is probably as idiotic a mentality as one can have. We have plenty of proof via actual studies about people with ethnic names not getting called back for job interviews while “mainstream” named people (think Jim, John, Beth, Sarah) get the opportunity to interview for a job. And since jobs are a big part of the current political landscape, I think that very real study is telling.

Some of the excitement I’m reading about the Tea Party and GOP’s approval of Cain almost seems ironic. Their excitement is largely driven by proving to people that they aren’t racist. It’s like learning play jazz flute in order to tease the kid up the street who plays jazz flute. If they support a Black man, they cannot inherently be racist. Further, Herman Cain’s popularity proves that race isn’t a big deal.

Yeah, we’ll see when it comes time to pull that lever. Granted, we’re still a long way away from a formal nomination which is why I think that these conversations keep happening. Nobody really seems happy with the current crop of candidates anyway so Cain is something like a positive by not being so negative for the GOP. But I can’t lie, I might have to eat my hat if he actually were to get nominated by the Republican party.

The larger point still remains though: I’m completely surprised by Cain’s success at this point because he is, indeed, Black. It honestly seemed like so many people who disliked (and still do) President Obama did so for very little more than petty reasoning, which makes the race card seem appropriate. His entire presidency has seemed like he’s been running from behind because everybody wanted him to fail. You can’t ignore the big elephant in the room.

But somehow that doesn’t matter with Cain…yet. So maybe we are in a post-racial world. Or not.

Talk to me AFTER he gets nominated.

Does Cain’s popularity amongst the GOP indicate that we are in a post-racial America? Or are we watching an early form of the Bradley effect taking place? Or more sinister, do you Republicans are just trying to make a point??

What gives?

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka THE LESSER HALF aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

[ADMIN NOTE: At midnight on October 20, we're going to take VSB offline until next week while we finish handling all of the site issues we seem to be having. Most people seem to not be suffering from random f*ckery due to our site being hacked but enough are that we need to go offline to fix them. We'll be back on Monday. Thanks for sleepwalking with the kids and sorry for any inconvenience. Posse out.]