This morning, I read and enjoyed Jeannie DeAngelis’ post about a potential Herman Cain candidacy. From everything I’ve heard, including musings from our own Danny Lemieux, Cain is a person one would like to have in the White House. He may not have a political track record, but he’s still got a lot more under his belt than our current president. The latter had a few years voting “present” in regional and national senates, and a cushioned existence as a lecturer and activist. Cain has lived out in the real world, and made a success of himself. He has a moral center, and the ability to communicate those values. We could do — and are now doing — infinitely worse.
But DeAngelis said one thing that struck me as wrong. She believes that Cain’s race (he’s black for those few who might not have heard of him) would take race off the table in the next election. My instinctive reaction was “No way!” No one inspires a racial frenzy on the Left the way a conservative black person does. The old “Uncle Tom” insult is nothing compared to what the Left dishes out now. Just think of the vicious “Mammy” attacks on Condi Rice.
I didn’t have to wait very long for my instincts to be proven right. AlterNet, a loud and popular Leftist site, just published one of the most vile racist rants I’ve ever seen. Because it doesn’t deserve your links, I’ll reprint the post here (copied from Hot Air):
In the immortal words of Megatron in Transformers: The Movie, Herman Cain’s speech at CPAC really is bad comedy. As you know, I find black garbage pail kids black conservatives fascinating not because of what they believe, but rather because of how they entertain and perform for their White Conservative masters.
When race minstrelsy was America’s most popular form of mass entertainment, black actors would often have to pretend to be white men, who then in turn would put on the cork to play the role of the “black” coon, Sambo, or Jumping Jim Crow. Adding insult to injury, in a truly perverse and twisted example of the power of American white supremacy black vaudevillians would often pretend to be white in order to denigrate black people for the pleasures of the white gaze. …
In total, CPAC is a carnival and a roadshow for reactionary Conservatives. It is only fitting that in the great tradition of the freak show, the human zoo, the boardwalk, and the great midway world’s fairs of the 19th and 20th centuries, that there is a Borneo man, a Venus Hottentot or a tribe of cannibals from deepest darkest Africa or Papua New Guinea on display. For CPAC and the White Conservative imagination, Herman Cain and his black and brown kin are that featured attraction.
We always need a monkey in the window, for he/she reminds us of our humanity while simultaneously reinforcing a sense of our own superiority. Sadly, there are always folks who are willing to play that role because it pays so well.
Believe it or not, there’s a much bigger insult in the above text than the blatant, obvious, KKK-style name-calling. It is the notion that blacks are nothing more than puppets. They don’t bring anything original to the table. Instead, they simply dance for their political masters, with those who dance for the conservatives being the idiot field hands, while those who dance for the Progressive puppeteers are the deserving house slaves. To demean a group that way, to imply that its members are incapable of making rational decisions (whether or not one agrees with those decisions) is more racist than foul language and antiquated imagery AlterNet can strain itself to produce.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News