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Herman Cain tosses out the race card; Ann Coulter apparently considers him ‘a better black’

The right wing handles the use of the race card in such a vapid and preposterous manner that it indicates just how they view blacks they promote to high-profile status — figureheads and tokens that the right has no problem burning if the House Negroes themselves dare discuss racism within the GOP.

This Herman Cain story has moved so far into the absurd and offensive that it makes you wonder how the man could take leave of his senses at this level — did the Godfather’s Pizza magnate really think this sexual harassment hot mess wouldn’t come back to bite him in the ass? The latest in the Clown Car saga is that Cain’s wife plans to stand by her man now that one of the women accusing the presidential candidate of harassing her (and received a year’s pay as a settlement) wants to go public.

Sorry, I forgot about the enormous egos of some of these pols — they are so used to getting strokes and deference (think John Edwards and boatloads of Republican sexual hypocrites) that they think they can get away with just about anything and there’s always someone who will clean up their messes and keep their piehole shut.

That’s why it’s offensive to see Herman Cain try to do a Clarence Thomas and claim that his status as a black conservative is what caused this “smear” of his character, even as the man changes his story about what he knew and when he knew it on the hour. (The Daily Beast/Michelle Goldberg):

Suddenly, the right sees the “institutional racism” that Coulter disparaged everywhere. “Look at how quickly what is known as the mainstream media goes for the ugliest racial stereotypes they can to attack a black conservative,” Limbaugh said on Monday. “I Declare Politico’s Attack On Herman Cain Racist,” blared a headline on On Fox and Friends Tuesday morning, guest host Peter Johnson Jr. alluded to Clarence Thomas, saying, “[M]aybe this is a high-tech lynching that Politico engaged in.”

This is an absurd charge. Herman Cain is currently leading the Republican polls. If he wants to be treated as a serious candidate—something that’s not entirely clear, given his lack of a campaign staff in Iowa and New Hampshire—he’s going to be subjected to serious scrutiny. When a major presidential candidate has been accused of sexual harassment, and when his accusers have received financial settlements as a result of their complaints, that’s news. Indeed, that’s so obvious it seems absurd to have to write it. Just imagine, after all, how much decorousness we could expect from Fox if such a scandal were discovered in Obama’s past…It’s not really surprising that the right, usually so dismissive of prejudice against African-Americans, has been so quick to cry racism. The modern conservative movement emerged in large part in opposition to the civil rights revolution.

Yeah, it’s not hard to imagine the reaction of the right if Obama was in that situation. Cain is fair game. And the last time I checked, a person’s race doesn’t have anything to do with a man’s professional behavior (or lack thereof) around female employees.

And Ann Coulter. I hate to waste bandwidth on this woman, but once she tossed out “our blacks are so much better than their blacks” I had to say something.

Coulter agreed that the Cain story is a “high-tech lynching,” adding that “it’s coming from the exact same people who used to do the lynching with ropes, now they do it with a word processor.”

She continued that liberals are “too dense” to see the “many wonderful qualities” about Herman Cain, because “all they see is a conservative black man.”

That’s why our blacks are so much better than their blacks,” Coulter said. “To become a black Republican you don’t just roll into it. You’re not going with the flow. You have fought against probably your family members, probably your neighbors, you have thought everything out and that’s why we have very impressive blacks in our party.”

First of all, I’d love to know how many black friends she has (not just some tools she rubs shoulders with at conservative galas) – friends of the heart-to-heart variety. Usually when anyone shoots bullsh*t out of their mouths like the above statement, it’s pretty clear the only black “friends” she has are of the self-loathing kind.

Does Herman Cain fit into Coulter’s category of one of her better blacks? I’m sure Thomas Sowell’s on that list. After all, he recently made the preposterous claim that Cain was essentially more authentically black than Barack Obama:

“My gosh, he is certainly one of us far more so than Barack Obama. Raised in Hawaii and going to a private school, an expensive private school.”

After all, Cain came to the same race-aroused conclusion:

Ticking off ways he could compete with Obama, Boortz says that Cain would be able to talk about the black experience in America.

Cain’s response: “[Obama’s] never been a part of the black experience in America.”

The bold and pathetic use of the race card in these instances only serves to underscore how illogical and grotesque the right is when it handles the issue.

The bottom line is that the conservative movement can only go so far in embracing black conservatives because the socially conservative base has proven it will turn on a dime when the House Negro shows a spine. Look at the racial hellfire directed at Cain when he dared to challenge Rick Perry’s honesty about the “N*ggerhead” debacle.

The black conservative is still the lawn jockey in that movement. An ornament, a decoration for show. Look at the ridiculous term of Michael Steele as head of the RNC. That was a #FAIL a minute.

I wish it weren’t that way, quite frankly. The conservative movement is still in the grips of the religious right, the teabaggers and outlandish bigots, nativists and racists and apparently sees them all as useful idiots because they can rally and get out the vote. It’s a lot harder to sever those relationships than to actually court blacks, Latinos and people of color from a conservative perspective.

So Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh et. al. can continue to pretend in public that they know more about the black experience (whatever that means), and pull out their tokens who have proven they are willing to subject themselves to public humiliation. After all, the “good blacks” are unable to publicly question color-aroused statements like Coulter’s if they want to stay in the good graces of the conservative fold.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding