Friday, November 4, 2011

Herman Cain & Racism

     Not long ago, presidential candidate Herman Cain said that Muslims should be required to take a "loyalty test". With Herman Cain being currently the only viable Republican presidential candidate to go up against President Obama; this can be problematic for more reasons than one.
     Mr. Cain stated his views about the Muslim population in America at the height of  Islamaphobia; which is understandable for a Republican politician. That is, is a typical of a Republican politician to actively speak out against a deviant minority. By deviant, I am saying that not only is this group (generally speaking) politically weak, but they are also considered to be a dangerous group. Examples of deviant groups include (but are certainly not limited to): terrorists, criminals. In this case, Cain (as well as many other politicians) stupidly combined Muslims into this group.
     I use the term "stupidly" to describe his commentary on the Muslim population for a few reasons. First, because like all other fads, scape goat fads (like Islamaphobia) also fades. That is, every few years there is a new minority that enters the category of deviant; the Chinese, Jews and the Irish to name a few. Especially in the case of the Jewish population, as a group, they are quick to be weary of this type of behavior because it can be said that this type of rhetoric is similar to that of Nazi rhetoric right before the Nazi Party came into power in Germany. As a result, it alienates a lot of people (most of which will be imperative to win over in order to win the election.
     Cain himself was eventually forced to acknowledge the lack of longevity when it comes to this fad. As a result, he made a public apology  earlier during his presidential campaign. However, I would not assume that he was sincere about his apology. Rather, he was simply trying to cover his own arse, so that he wouldn't look like another racist Republican candidate.
     So when bloggers and political pundits claim that Herman Cain is a racist for what he has said about black people deserving to be poor because they do not work hard; I would argue that he is not racist against black people. Instead I propose two ideas. First, he is only expressing disgust at the idea that black people have been historically disenfranchised both politically and economically. This thought could also be interpreted so that what he meant is that in these times, it is more than possible for blacks in America to move past the disenfranchisement of the past by utilizing the remedies the system has provided for all blacks in America. In addition, I propose that Mr. Cain suffers from a case of Islamaphobia.


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