I have previously raised concern over the treatment of Herman Cain by the media and Democratic activists because of his race. While I have strong disagreements with Cain, I find it discomforting to see how his race is such a preoccupation with Democrats. This weekend, I was taken aback by the statement of Democratic strategist and MSNBC analyst Karen Finney that Cain is “a black man who knows his place.”
Here is the full statement in context:
“One of the things about Herman Cain is, I think that he makes that white Republican base of the party feel okay, feel like they are not racist because they can like this guy,” Finney said. “I think he giving that base a free pass. And I think they like him because they think he’s a black man who knows his place. I know that’s harsh, but that’s how it sure seems to me.”
What is equally remarkable is Martin Bashir’s response: “Thank you for spelling that out.”
There is of course another possibility: Republicans supporting Cain might not be racist . . . anymore than Democrats who supported Obama. Republicans have previously had African Americans run for President. Alan Keys comes to mind. Like Russ Perot, Cain is billing himself as an outsider from the business world. I have criticized him in columns, but I do not see why he should be faced with constant questions over whether he is genuine or merely some put-up black guy for racist Republicans. Yet, there have been a steady chorus of such attacks directed at Cain.
Finney is described as “having more than 20 years in national politics includes four presidential campaigns, the Clinton White House, a New York Senate race, and first African American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee.” No one would tolerate Republican attacks that she is a woman or African American valued by MSNBC for “knowing her place.” Yet, these attacks have gone on without little objection from Democrats. Indeed, MSNBC host Al Sharpton has questioned whether Cain is an “authentic black man”.
What do you think?