Herman Cain's Hustle

More

Adam Serwer flags this laughable comment from Herman Cain:


"I'm an American Black Conservative - an ABC -- and I'm proud of it," Cain said. "And because I've been affiliated with the conservative movement, and had the audacity to go on talk radio and do a talk show, and promote conservative principles, I've been called a racist too. Go figure" 

Cain then went on to say he thought liberals were upset with him "because I won't stay on the Democrat plantation like I'm supposed to." "It may shock you but some black people can think for themselves," he added.

Yes. And those black people happen to be Republican. From Adam:

....it's hard to imagine Cain talking like this to the average black audience, because the average black person doesn't really enjoy being compared to a slave. But it's the sort of thing white conservatives really eat up, which is why black conservatives often draw these kinds of comparisons. 

I don't mean to trivialize the fact that some black conservatives really do have to weather racist arguments about intelligence or racial authenticity from liberals just because they're conservative. But there's a way to respond to that without accusing black Democrats of being mindless or stupid.

I think this is exactly right. Moreover, the victim-mongering is fairly astounding, if typical. The accusation of racism is now, officially, a racist act. It also sends me back to a debate from comments yesterday regarding Alan Keyes and the Confederate flag. Cain is black man, engaged in white populism. It's an unoriginal hustle, but still a marvel to behold.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In