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The Other Side of the Tracks blog by Word Press

Dealing From the Bottom of the Deck

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

November 8, 2011

By Perry Redd


Wouldn’t you know it? They’ve moved the goalposts—changed the rules in the middle of the game.  Leading conservatives are now doing the thing they’ve accused and castigated the Left of doing for years: playing the race card.  Now that they’ve seemed to line up behind a Black man (sounds hilarious, doesn’t it?), they’ve flipped the deck and are dealing the card you never thought they would: the race card.

Members of the media had been warned ahead of time not to ask Cain about the sex harassment story, which had dominated the week’s political news. How are you going to warn someone in the public not to do something?  Does Cain think he’s God?  A sheet of instructions had directed them to “focus and report on reality, not gossip.”  That’s insane!  Factual sexual harassment settlements are anything but gossip…they’re fact!  The reality is that Cain did something unprofessional enough to cause women to lodge formal complaints against him. It is a fact that these women signed confidentiality agreements, with one receiving severance — a year’s salary of $35,000 — in a settlement, and the other reportedly getting a $45,000 payout. Get real, Man!

Cain is running scared—and should be.  He’s losing his fairytale lead in the polls.  He went off the chain at reporters this weekend after a policy debate with Newt Gingrich.  One of the reporters began with, “Mr. Cain, the attorney for one of the women who filed a sexual harassment complaint …” He didn’t even get the full question out before Cain snapped: “Don’t even go there!”

“No gossip!”   That was the chiding interjected by Gena Cook of the Texas Patriots PAC, the event’s organizer.  As the reporter persisted, Cain ordered his chief of staff, Mark Block, to send him a copy of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. “Seek truth and report it,” is the code’s first tenet.  He’s got some nerve!  The truth is, Cain refuses to reveal the facts of the settlement.  Reporters are seeking it.  That’s what happens when you run for the presidency; just ask John Edwards!

But that’s not the topper though.  Leading conservative pundits are using an unorthodox defense of Cain: his race.  Funny how white conservatives always decry the claims of racism when it comes from the very people being discriminated against?  They all but dismiss the notion that racism could even exist in America today.  Now that the ship of their new “white hope” has taken on water, they have found an anchor in race.

But now that his campaign is floundering due to the emergence of the sexual harassment allegations made in the 1990s when he ran the National Restaurant Association, Cain is spinning the idea that his race may be to blame for the controversy.  How convenient.  Specifically, he has tried to mesh his situation with that of Clarence Thomas, who when accused of past sexual harassment in his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings, attacked opponents for what he called a “high-tech lynching.”

Cain interviewed last Thursday with Justice Thomas’ wife, Virginia, a conservative activist, and later pleaded his case to Fox News host Sean Hannity.  Liberals, he said, “are trying to attack me to intimidate other Black conservatives to not go public or to not think about looking at other ideas on the other side of the spectrum.”  What does he think will happen when you run from the truth?  Don’t sexually harass women. Then, you’ll have nothing to worry about!

Leading conservative defenders — notably Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh — revived the “high-tech lynching” metaphor.  What?  Americans for Herman Cain, an independent super PAC, used the phrase in a fundraising appeal that went out Tuesday in which it blamed “the left-wing media” for Cain’s woes. Coulter even floated the idea that Cain is a “good Black.”

Rush Limbaugh said: “Look at how quickly what is known as the mainstream media goes for the ugliest racial stereotypes they can to attack a Black conservative.”  You’ve got to remember that Cain was the candidate — who regarded himself as a colorblind American success story.  So how is he going to holler racism?  How can Limbaugh, the man who coined the “Obameo” phrase to disparage the President, expect to make a credible claim of racism?  Get real…

So over the past week, the Heritage Foundation gang has started their “save Cain” campaign.  Asked by Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer, “Do you think that race, being a strong Black conservative, has anything to do with the fact you’ve been so charged? And if so, do you have any evidence to support that?”  Cain answered:“  I believe the answer is yes, but we do not have any evidence to support it.” What the hell is he talking about?  Cain hasn’t been charged with anything!  This is what spin looks like.

Cain added, “Relative to the left, I believe race is a bigger driving factor.”   If you don’t have any evidence to support it, then why would you even bring it up?  The courts have never allowed any Black person to win any argument without evidence…oh, but Cain is colorblind—and he ain’t in court!

It’s so convenient to play the race card, but we’re not going to let him.  He didn’t believe it existed before his skeleton fell out of the closet, so, don’t even try it now.  Sexually harassing women has nothing to do with being Black.  Cain has chosen to be a member of the political party that is male-dominated, patriarchal and exclusive.  It is more than conceivable that he could have been dense enough and disconnected enough to believe that he had done nothing wrong (as he has said).  That doesn’t mean you didn’t, and if you believe that—and people defend you—then you’ll very likely do it again.  You can’t do the people’s business and deal from the bottom of the deck.


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