Every time I hear Herman Cain talk, I think of this scene from Undercover Brother. It's not so much that Cain is conservative--it's that he ardently pursues ignorance. It's actually quite the sea-change. Clarence Thomas's politics obviously irritate me--but I never thought he was modeling ignorance. I certainly never thought that of Colin Powell or Condeleeza Rice.
But Cain actually eschews knowledge. He's on, what we would call in our private moments, "some street shit." Except he wears a suit. Seriously, I see this dude talk and I hope no young black kids are listening. If you can be president without knowing a thing about the world, why should the standards for eighth grade be any higher?
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.
Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.