October 29th, 2011

The Left’s view of the racist right and the problem of Herman Cain

The mind continues to reel at the mental gymnastics of the left when confronted with the right’s support for Herman Cain. The latest exemplar is Karen Phinney, who said:

Let’s review the logic here. If Finney starts with what she considers a truism, that the right is racially bigoted, she is faced with a conundrum: how to reconcile this with their support for a black man. Rather than abandon the sacred meme “the right is racist,” Finney must instead reason that support for Cain is just a cover for racism, and that he’s either (a) not a “real” black man; or (b) a certain kind of black man who is acceptable to racists. Finney chooses (b), and rather than call him an “uncle Tom” (the preferred nomenclature for black people on the right) she calls him a black man who “knows his place.”

Finney herself is bi-racial, so perhaps she feels she is inoculated against the charge of racism herself. But she, like much of the left, seems to see almost everything through the prism of race. The fact that a certain not insignificant percentage of the left may have supported and voted for Obama in part because he, as a black man, made them feel good about themselves in the racial sense, is ignored. The fact that many people on the right choose candidates to like or dislike because of their politics rather than their race is also ignored; neither process conforms to the approved narrative.

But the strangest thing about Finney’s observation is that it fits the case of Herman Cain so poorly. This is a man the right supports because he “knows his place”—a phrase which, in the traditional racist sense when used about black people, has always meant their not rising very high in the world? But Cain is an extremely successful man and is in fact running for president of the United States. If that’s his “place,” according to the right, then how can the right be racist?

The mind boggles.

[ADDENDUM: And then there’s Joy Behar, who notes that “the Republican Party hasn’t been black friendly over the many centuries in this country.” It would be hard to find a more Orwellian comment anywhere, and if Behar isn’t even aware of the actual history of the Republican Party and its noble fight against slavery and racism, than we can add abysmal ignorance to her resume.

For those of you who, like Behar, may have slept through the entire American history curriculum, here’s a teeny introduction:

Founded in Northern States in 1854 by anti-slavery activists, modernizers, ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers, the Republican Party quickly became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the briefly popular Know Nothing Party. The main cause was opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise by which slavery was kept out of Kansas. The Republicans saw the expansion of slavery as a great evil.

But perhaps Behar knows all that, to give her the benefit of a doubt she doesn’t probably deserve. And perhaps this is her reasoning, somewhat akin to Finney’s twistings: the Democrats in the South who were actually the racists for lo nigh those “many centuries” were really closet Republicans, and the Republicans were really closet Democrats.]

18 Responses to “The Left’s view of the racist right and the problem of Herman Cain”

  1. expat Says:

    Behar is an idiot. Why does she have a microphone to spout her ignorance? Where did she go to school? Perhaps we need a list of schools that produce such people.

  2. Occam's Beard Says:

    For those of you who, like Behar, may have slept through the entire American history curriculum

    Sadly, American history apparently often isn’t taught any more, but when it is, the wretched People’s History of the United States”, by the execrable Howard Zinn (now proven to have been a CPUSA member) is used as a textbook.

    Nah, there’s no conspiracy to impose this rubbish on us. Read Wikipedia’s entry on the Zinn’s book to see how Reds (e.g., Eric Foner) praise each other’s work, and thereby lend credibility to each other, and promote the Party’s interests.

  3. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    After catching a malodorous whiff or two, I decided not to watch the mostly semi-literate boobs on “The View” or to pay attention to anyone associated with it (and prevented some I.Q. shrinkage right there) and not to watch or listen to, either, a whole host of leftist commentators, comedians and entertainers (“Hollywood stars, what don’t they know”) , politicians and academics who are so ignorant/propagandized and resistant to the truth and to the complete and accurate historical record, so convinced about the rightness of what they “know,” that you couldn’t drive even one iota of truth into their dense heads with a pile driver.

  4. George Pal Says:

    When Left/Liberals abandoned reality they took up with delusion… it’s the happiest they’ve ever been.

    “Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.”
    Laurence J. Peter (the Peter Principle)

    There’s no convincing delusional and ignorant; there’s no arguing with delusional and ignorant; there’s no engaging the delusional and ignorant. All you can do is point and laugh.

  5. expat Says:

    BTW, Richard Fernandez (PJM) draws an interesting analogy to Dan Rather’s use of the race card when people were criticizing Robert Mugabe for being a maoist.

  6. holmes Says:

    Well, when Blacks used to enjoy the values of individual freedom, the Republican party was a friend. That has not been the case for a while, sadly.

  7. Ozyripus Says:

    Neo; interesting that you refer to Kinney as “bi-racial” for your link-word to her article, in which she describes herself as from a “mixed race heritage,” but identifies her father as “African-American.” (Given the pieties of our politically-correct, current Americanese, we can assume her mother is a . . . person of deficient skin pigment, hence Kinney looking “passing,” as that awful, thankfully-now-forbidden, old term had it.) But her father she calls African American, plain out. How do we analyze all this pussy-footing around; why doesn’t she call herself an African American?

    I would like to dump all this identity-politics verbiage in a cultural garbage can, since my grandchildren are of considerable variety, but all are going to be damn good Americans! An effective way might be to repeal Affirmative Action along with Obamacare.

  8. n.n Says:

    It is not about racism per se. It can be properly understood as a Tutsi slaughter Hutu slaughter Tutsi cycle. Racism is merely employed as a tactic to gain advantage over a competing interest. This is an excellent reason to reject any ideology which marginalizes or eliminates competing interests, because the establishment of an authoritarian monopoly inevitably follows.

  9. Alex Bensky Says:

    Yes, indeed, the left–which sees itself as anti-racist–is drenched in race, obsessed by race, unable to see anyone except in terms of race. Thus claiming that people should be viewed as individuals in “racism.”

    I think psychologists call this “projection.”

  10. nolanimrod Says:

    if Behar isn’t even aware of the actual history of the Republican Party and its noble fight against slavery and racism, than we can add abysmal ignorance to her resume.

    As we saw with Clinton, as we saw with Palin, as we see with Cain, whether one is a sexual power-predator, has a vagina, or is actually black depends a lot upon the politics of the observer.

  11. Gary Rosen Says:

    To speak of “views” or “logic” gives them way too much credit. It is simply knee-jerk tendentious political thuggery, because a black GOP candidate blows their narrative. Same reason why Palin got an extra dose of their vitriol because she is female.

  12. SteveH Says:

    Oh man. Cain is going to make leftist become totally unhinged from reality. This is getting terribly interesting.

  13. BurkeanBadger Says:

    “Oh man. Cain is going to make leftist become totally unhinged from reality. This is getting terribly interesting.”

    More like, terribly predictable. As I have said before, it’s important to understand the simple, Manichean worldview most liberals (at least most liberal celebrities and intellectuals) adopt. Republicans and conservatives ARE (by definition) greedy, oppressive, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic hate-spewing white men along with their delusional, air-headed, barbie doll wives. Whenever anything or anyone challenges this worldview, the liberal intelligentsia goes into a catatonic fit. This worldview CANNOT be wrong! Never!

    Herman Cain poses a very direct and extremely troubling challenge to this worldview in that he is not only African American, but he grew up poor in the Jim Crow south. How can anyone like that EVER be anything but a passionately liberal Democrat? He cannot, cannot cannot!! No, no, no! The liberal stamps his foot and covers his ears.

    Since the liberals’ definition of a Republican/conservative is, prima facie, true there can only be one explanation. Something is terribly wrong with Cain. He is an “Uncle Tom”. He appeals to whites because he “knows his place”. White conservatives like him and are supporting him because they want to conceal their deep seated racism. Yes, as Alex Bensky pointed out, this is projection. The left is obsessed with race and racism, because it is obsessed with identity politics. And one of those identities is that African Americans ARE liberal and loyal Democrats, reliable votes for the party and reliable, obedient supporters of progressivism. When a prominent African American steps out of that role, all hell breaks loose.

    So yes, in that sense, Herman Cain is a black man who doesn’t know his place. As he once said, he left the Democratic plantation years ago. How dare he!

    As everyone knows, I am not a Cain supporter by any means and I highly doubt he will be the nominee or even come close. But SteveH is right, his presence is making the celebutards of the left come completely unhinged. It’s amusing (and also a little depressing) to watch. Oh, and FYI: If and when Cain does slip and start to fade away, that will be due to racism too. Don’t you see? It’s racist to support him and it’s racist not to support him. X = -X in the liberal logic.

  14. Motorcyclist Says:

    This is why it’s pointless to answer (let alone argue) with liberals. THEY know they’re lying, WE know they’re lying, and THEY KNOW THAT WE KNOW they’re lying.

    They are a distant minority and getting more distant every day. WE WIN by discussing what’s wrong and how to fix it. Anyone who can’t see what’s going on, is simply too stupid to worry about.

  15. foxmarks Says:

    The informed lefty response to the history of the Republican Party is to dismiss the facts as irrelevant ancient history. The Southern Strategy flipped 60s racist Democrats to the R party. This left the modern Ds as more pure champions of justice and made the modern Rs custodians of our national legacy of racism.

    It’s a crap answer, but it’s like telling a Catholic that sacramental wine is not chemically transformed by their beliefs.

    Once a year I like to wear my “MLK was a Republican” T-shirt. As BB points out above, the response is terribly predictable.

  16. Artfldgr Says:

    Given the lefts ACTUAL history with african americans, it is more likely that she is equalizing the playing field by saying about the conservatives what is truthful of her own party and circles. ie… she and her folk would never put up such for any real reason (including obama), and so neither can the other side.

    no mental gymnastics if she is only declaring what is already for her size, and so her only way to see it for the other side. shocked and appalled that they would do the same thing, she wants to reveal it

  17. Artfldgr Says:

    Behar is an idiot. Why does she have a microphone to spout her ignorance?

    because her idiocy parallels the party line

  18. Trebuchet Says:

    Liberal Logic:

    1.Horses have an even number of legs.

    2.They have two legs in back and fore legs in front.

    3.This makes a total of six legs, which certainly is an odd number of legs for a horse.

    4.But the only number that is both odd and even is infinity.

    5.Therefore, horses must have an infinite number of legs.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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