It is so hot outside that my oven is sitting in the shade...
Sorry, I couldn't resist that old Vaudeville routine. I am going to see Captain America in a few hours and will post a review soon after. Next week, I hope to do a series on the Department of Homeland Security and white terrorism: which will be provocative to say the least as I got both barrels loaded. I really do love white folks. I am their best friend because as Paul Mooney says, "I tell them the truth." Hopefully, my intervention will help the White Soul have a moment of productive, critical self-reflection.
At present, my best friend Black Conservative Garbage Pail Kid Herman Cain is in the midst of self-destructing, despite what some pundits have suggested, with his foolish anti-Muslim bigotry and race baiting--trust, the latter is the script even though Cain's focus is ostensibly on matters of religion.
I used to think that black folks could not be racist. I still hold to that proposition: but Herman Cain flirts and has shameless intercourse with bigotry, in a way that is so racialized, there may have to be an asterisk next to his name if the Routledge Keywords series was to do a volume called Concepts in Social Inquiry. Moreover, because he has so distanced himself from the African American community, and rejected "African-American" as an affiliation of either kin or shared experience and struggle, he is subject to the "turn about is fair play rule."
Herman Cain is a black buffoon. Consequently, he should be treated as such.
To point: the wickedness of Jim Crow stereotyping and race minstrelsy was how it gave life to a lie--we were not incompetent fools, unfit for citizenship, more childlike than adult, and ultimately ill-suited for the American democratic project.
Be it Jumpin Jim Crow, Uncle Tom, or the Black Dandy, one of the recurring themes in the racist imagery deployed against black people was that we were "uppity" and aspired for a higher social standing and responsibility than either earned or deserved. African Americans were natural incompetents when viewed through the White gaze of Jim and Jane Crow America.
That lie is still with us in the 21 century. In the white animosity and resentment faced by Barack Obama, the basic challenges to his legitimacy as President, the assumption by the Tea Party Birther Palin populists has long been that Barack Obama is incompetent and should "know his place."
Ironically, Herman Cain is actually incompetent and not fit to be President of the United States. Could the white supremacist frames of Jim and Jane Crow apply to Herman Cain? Would the visual "work" when applied to him? Would the semiotics of Cain as lawn jockey or a happy servant be a good fit for his personhood and habitus?
I like to play with fire. So let's find out. Consider this our American Pickers meets Photoshop meets Jim Crow meets Herman Cain game.
Don't feel embarrassed to participate: Herman Cain gave tacit approval for such acts of imagination, because as he kindly reminded us, that whole Civil Rights deal was much to do about nothing anyway because the water from those segregated water fountains "tasted the same."
My Photoshop skills are adequate. But, I know there are folks out there who have real skills.
I offer you 3 images to play with (feel free to use your own) and I will post the winners next week. By the way, a Herman Cain themed pinball machine would be a real treat.
Herman Cain as Rastus of Cream of Wheat:
Herman Cain and the White Man's Burden:
Herman Cain and Coon Chicken Inn: