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April 14, 2024

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That Strong Black Conservative Man

POSTED: November 03, 2011, 12:00 am

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Like Miss Scarlett secretly pining for her Black buck on the plantation, Miss Ann (Coulter that is) quickly defended her stallion Herman Cain from those jealous liberals who in her antebellum mind fear “a strong Black conservative man.” In one of those bizarre “did she really say that?” moments, Coulter fended off criticism of Cain’s alleged sexual harassment of former colleagues that evokes laughable images of her doing her best blonde girl imitation of a finger wagging, neck twisting “not my man!” home girl.

It seems like that “authentically Black” conservative that has had the right swooning like high school girls for the star quarterback has a bit of a problem. Several women who worked with Cain at the National Restaurant Association are claiming that they were the victims of unwanted advances by the Republican presidential candidate. One claimant is so incensed she considered asking to be freed from a confidentiality agreement from a legal settlement with the association to tell her side of the story. For his part, Cain, the man always ready with a quick quip, has suddenly become tongue tied and experiencing amnesia.

In short order, Cain had become the darling of the Republican right; soaring in the polls and taking the country by storm with his catchy 9-9-9 plan for economic prosperity. He is the right’s dark fantasy; an African-American who doesn’t mind drinking out of the colored fountain. Unlike Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain is unapologetically Black, boasting his Morehouse credentials, standing on his southern upbringing and faithful to his Christian roots. Cain is wearing his Black on his sleeve and telling the rest of us Negroes that we have it all wrong: there are “good white folks” in the Big House and we would benefit if we simply stopped plotting against Massa. And like the slave owner’s daughter who spends her days fantasizing about the Black male chattel, Coulter’s coming to the rescue of Cain comes off as some cheap, tawdry plantation “romance.”

Now Republicans have boxed themselves into a corner. Their presidential candidate field is thin and the lineup looks more appropriate for a middle school student council election. Worse for the GOP, they are being consumed by their own hate and paranoia. There is so much venom toward the Mormon Mitt Romney that they have settled for the second and third runner-ups in the presidential pageant. They have a Texan who is one comment away from self-destruction and who carries the “Niggerhead” ranch brand. Then they have Cain, the Black conservative they have always dreamt would one day rise up to take on the Black left and white sympathizers of progressive politics. He was the antidote to the charge of racism leveled against the GOP, and provided the perfect rebuttal to those who allege that Republicans are fully invested in white supremacy.

The problem is that Herman Cain was never a serious candidate, nor is he a particularly qualified candidate. He is the quintessential token. Cain is simply the latest in a line of Black conservatives who star in the Republicans “Minstrel Theater” and are used to push an anti-civil rights narrative disguised as a self-help agenda that provides no help at all. Cain, in fact, is downright embarrassing. He is what your grandmother warned you not to be in front of white people – a fool. I am never sure if those adoring crowds are cheering Cain or simply so excited by his right-wing rhetoric that they forget he is Black.

Why is it that conservatives always put on the front of moral purity, only to be revealed as scoundrels? Newt Gingrich left his first wife while she battled cancer and had an affair with a staffer that drove his divorce from his second wife who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Then there was Bob Livingston, a critic too of the indefensible Bill Clinton, who was revealed to have his own extramarital blind spot that cost him the job as House Speaker after Gingrich’s departure. Who can forget the way Rudy Giuliani openly carried on with his chick on the side Judith Nathan and then there was Clarence Thomas, who proudly acknowledged owning a collection of erotica (I think we call it porn these days) and teased a former female colleague about pubic hair on a Coke can, as revealed during his Supreme Court confirmation. Say what you want about these conservatives, they know how to get their party on. In fact, the “Freaks Come out at Night” seems to be an appropriate anthem for these players. No one would really care about their tawdriness if they kept their personal business private. However, it is always the self-righteousness that comes back to bite Republicans.

So, no Miss Ann, we don’t fear a “strong conservative Black man” who fulfills your romance novel fantasies but we do loathe foolishness and resent the idea that an authentically Black facsimile is somehow given serious consideration to lead our nation.

Walter Fields is Executive Editor of

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