Boy You Best Know Your Place! Herman Cain's Criticism of Rick Perry Gets Him Checked by His White Republican Masters
You might have anticipated that Perry would face a firestorm for being associated with the property, but it's Cain whose remarks are drawing the most criticism from the right. At RedState, Erick Erickson concluded, "It also seems to be a slander Herman Cain is picking up and running with as a way to get into second place." Glenn Reynolds remarked that until now, Cain's "big appeal is that he's not just another black race-card-playing politician." Over at the Daily Caller, Matt Lewis called Cain's remarks "a cheap shot, and, perhaps a signal that Cain is willing to play the race card against a fellow Republican when it benefits him."Malcolm X famously asked, "what do you call a black man with a Phd?" His answer? You call him a nigger because that is how the white man sees him.
The key phrase here is "fellow Republican." Because, you see, no one thought Cain was "playing the race card" when he said in the same program that black people are "brainwashed" into voting for Democrats and suggested that black people who vote Republican are "thinking for themselves." Cain wasn't rebuked by conservatives when he previously suggested President Barack Obama was not "a strong black man," implied liberals were out to commit genocide against blacks through support for abortion rights, and said he wouldn't appoint a Muslim to his cabinet.
I wonder what is the corollary to Brother Malcom's sharp wisdom as applied to black conservatives who dare to call out white racism among their Republican brethren?
Once more, we see that black conservatives like Cain, Steele and others are just convenient upright walking racism shields for the Tea Party GOP. They are dispensable. And they best know their place on these matters as rule number one is 1) never call out white conservatives on their racism and 2) no reckless eyeballing or back-sassing against white Republicans:
None of that, in the eyes of the conservatives who cheered him for those remarks, constituted "playing the race card." But when a man who is old enough to recall living under American apartheid gets a little emotional over a piece of land called "Niggerhead," that's where the right draws the line.
Not just because Cain is attacking a fellow Republican, but because he stepped out of the proper role of a black conservative, which is to reassure Republicans that their political problems with race are the inventions of a liberal conspiracy. Cain just ran head first into the brick wall of conservative anti-anti-racism, the attitude on the right that accusations of racism directed at white people are of far greater consequence than any lingering vestiges of institutional racism nonwhites might face.In all, and as I called this over at Daily Kos, Rick Perry's Niggerhead moment and the criticism he is quite rightly suffering for his naked blindness to white supremacy may actually endear him to the Tea Party base. For them, Niggerhead is ultimately one more battle where they must protect their "cultural memory" and "freedom" against those complaining liberals, blacks, and others who have "stolen their America" from them.
I do hope that the black pundit class is politically sharp enough to let Herman Cain suffer the barbs of his white masters in the Tea Party GOP. He should not benefit from our habit to rally the troops, leverage linked fate, and defend a person who is actually working against the interests of black Americans simply by virtue of their melanin count--remember the Clarence Thomas debacle?
In a Republican Party where a significant number of its members believe that the Confederacy was on the right side of history, Niggerhead may actually be a clarion call for conservative rectitude.
The question remains, how low and for how long will Herman Cain grovel in order to get back into the big house where the vittles be tasty and the beds aren't made out of straw and hay?