Herman Cain on the stump in Kalamazoo, Michigan. So very sad.
It is a small world. I lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan for a year. There, I would far too often enjoy the lovely evening of a 5 dollar movie, some jazz at the Union, and then a few beers at Burdicks.
My night out on the town would cost me less than 20 dollars.
Kalamazoo was a sad, but dignified place. It was a once prosperous community with beautiful homes from the Gilded Age. Like so many cities across the Rust Belt, Kalamazoo went downhill because of deindustrialization and other changes in the economy that were to the disadvantage of the American worker.
As a measure for comparison, I had an apartment in "the 'Zoo" that cost me about 600 dollars a month including utilities. The same apartment would have easily cost, at a minimum, 2,000 dollars a month in Chicago. Alas, given how inter-generational wealth transfers are to the disadvantage of folks of color, if I had parents to hit up I would have purchased that palatial domicile in a second if afforded the opportunity.
Thus, to hear Herb Cornbread Cain preach the neoliberal, small government, gospel to folks in a community that has been destroyed, precisely by such a civil religion, is more than a little bit off-putting. I shake my head as folks cheer his policies. But, I vomit in my mouth to hear him--once more, as he always does--rape history.
[Do the math. If Herman Cain's pappy walked off the farm in the early 1940s at (let's guess) 20 years old, his parents may have been--and his grandparents most certainly were--born as slaves. How did the free market and the "American Dream" of deregulation help them? Are his supporters that dim? Or are the masses just generally asses?]
It is not only because I am a student of history that I find his allusion to the glory days of Jim Crow, sharecropping, and racialized debt peonage offensive. Rather, it is my common sense.
How can any person, of any reasonable sense, conjure up a story about the evils of "big government," and a racist labor market, as a means of talking about the Horatio Alger myth of the "good old days" relative to blacks in the Jim and Jane Crow South during the 1940s?
I rarely, if ever, use profanity. I will break that rule today: Cain is huffing bullshit as he relays a story that is designed to please the mouth-breathing, upright walking, White conservative populists who are his base; there is no way that even Herman Cain can believe such a noxious fiction. Utterly impossible.
Herman Cain, race minstrel extraordinaire, is truly a performance artist: there are few if any other explanations for his Koch brother funded Bojangles routine.
Folks, he is slouching far past Gomorrah. As a professional Herman Cain watcher, I predict that he is soon about to go somewhere which will leave you shocked--but not at all surprised.
Herman Cain's, "slavery was good for black folks moment," is not too far ahead. You are now forewarned. Be prepared. And do set your clocks by that prediction.