Cornbread Cometh

I'll have more to say tomorrow, but this is the dagger:


Ms. Bialek is the first woman to come forward publicly with such allegations. In her statement to the press, Ms. Bialek said that she had been fired at the association after about a year working for the group's educational foundation in its Chicago office. 

She said she sought Mr. Cain's help to find other employment during a trip to Washington about a month after he left the group. During that trip, she said Mr. Cain had secretly upgraded her hotel room before drinks and dinner that the two had to discuss possible future employment. 

She said that after dinner, he put his hand on her leg and ran it under her skirt and pulled her head toward his crotch. "I was surprised and shocked and I said, what are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend," Ms. Bialek recalled saying. "This is not what I came here for." "You want a job, right?" she said Mr. Cain responded. "I asked him to stop and he did."

This is a serious charge that sounds a lot like sexual assault. 

I would not trivialize the matter. But it must be said that this is not Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill. Herman Cain stands accused of something very old, and very different. Which is, by no means whatsoever, to say that Cain -- who has been accused of sexual harassment by four different women -- is a victim. 

But it is to say the following: Herman Cain has spent the past year peddling a thin tax policy, fumbling the names of foreign countries, and extolling his love of cornbread. Now, today, he stands accused of crudely fondling a white woman. Surely this is someone's portrait of blackness, but not anyone who would feel at home in Harlem.

Measuring himself against Barack Obama, Herman Cain once threatened give the country a "Real Black Man." From the addled recesses of the white populist imagination, Herman "Cornbread" Cain is charged with delivering.
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.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

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

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

From This Author

Just In