We may be in the age of Obama, but we are in the moment of Herman Caine. Right now, his time but that time is probably going to end in a few weeks. But in the most recent NBC Wall Street Journal poll of republican voters, the pizza man’s got 27%, Mitt Romney’s got 23 and Rick Perry’s got 16 – he’s going down, but when I look at the Herminator I don’t see presidential – not at all. I see somebody who reminds me of Flava Flav. Do you remember Flava Flav? He was with Public Enemy, he was the hype man. One of the most intellectual groups of all time Public Enemy. He went on to star a bunch of ridiculous reality shows, but how are these two men alike? There are so many ways. First they’re both clowns performing within a serious milieu. Flav, Public Enemy a descendant of Black Panthers and Malcolm X, yet he is there playing the wise fool. Afterword, he played the straight up fool, coonin to keep the cameras focused on him.
Herman Cain is part of an important national conversation about who will be the presidential nominee, at a critical moment in history, and yet he’s out there calling Black people brainwashed because we aren’t down with the conservative movement. Really? Denigrating Black intelligence on the public stage — come on man. It would hurt if we took him seriously.
Number two: Both Flav and Cain are media whores. Flava Fav is an admitted media whore. After Public Enemy, he had a series of relationship shows that played on the absurdity of seeing him interact with women. And I once asked him in an interview if he thought he was cooning on his reality shows, and he said, “hey, I’m on tv.” Wow.
Cain too seems willing to say anything to get the spotlight on him. He recently said that Obama’s never been part of the Black experience in America. So now Obama’s not Black enough. That’s ridiculous, but more importantly what does it have to with the country, and the business of running it over the next four years? Nothing, it’s just a way to get people talking.
Number three: Flava Flav infamously did crack. He admitted he used to spend twenty-six hundred a day on the stuff. I think Caine sometimes talks as if he’s on crack. Case in point, he recently said that “racism doesn’t hold anyone back in a major way anymore.” Sounds like he’s smokin it to me. Is he unaware of the systemic inequalities beat into the fabric of America, that assure that millions of Black Americans have no chance to succeed? I think Cain is another carnival barker whose long shot campaign has improbably caught fire, but he lacks the structure and the money needed to win. But hey, it’s all good for book sales. Look, the guy is paddling as fast as he can, aiming to make waves any way he can. But ultimately, he will fall in the water and he will sink.
Dylan Rattigan: umm what do you think he would do in the face of like an 888 plan?
Toure: (laughs) I don’t know, I don’t know
Dylan Rattigan: you some there like the seven minute abs and the six minute abs.
Toure: I don’t know. It’s a weird, like he caught the imagination with a really simplistic plan and then continuing the anti-intellectualism that we continually see from that side. Yeah, you know, is this really presidential?
Dylan Rattigan: Not by your measure and I don’t necessarily disagree with you my man. That was a wonderful rant, have a wonderful weekend.
Herman Cain has moved beyond being an Uncle Tom and has moved squarely into Uncle Ruckus territory. Next we will hear that he is suffering from reverse vitiligo and that he really is a good fearing White man. The only reason for his sudden rise with White republicans is because everything he says supports White supremacy. Conservatism is about maintaining the status quo and certainly not about any improvement for historically marginalized people. Republicans like to remind us that they are party of Lincoln and I say that Lincoln was not the friend to the Black man that they construct him to be. Lincoln was willing to continue slavery to avert war and he wanted to repatriate Blacks back to Africa, so maybe they really are the party of Lincoln. I think that someone should tell Black republicans that slavery is over and it’s okay to tell massa no.
In the words of that old Negro spiritual, “free at last, free at last, thank God all mighty, I’m free at last.