Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Non-Mystery and Obligatory Question: What Race is Herman Cain's "Mistress" Ginger White?

High comedy: so Ginger White's business partner preferred to date black men, but she disliked black women's hair. Hmmmm...the plot thickens. How twisted indeed is the intimate relationship between blacks and whites, feet intertwined mid-coitus on the cotton bale, but the mystery of the hair has too much symbolic weight to overcome?

What a sick society we are; white supremacy truly is a poison that has hurt us all.

If the visitor logs to We Are Respectable Negroes are any indication, there are many people who are curious as to the race of Herman Cain's "mistress" Miss Ginger White. As a service, I will try to offer some guidance on this most vexing and pressing issue of public concern.

First things first, there is only one race of people on this blue marble called planet Earth (allowing for hobbits and Neanderthals), and that is the human race.

Clarifications aside, in our contemporary nomenclature while she may be light, bright, and damn near white (as the expression goes), Ginger White is a black woman.

As a student of race, and a keen practitioner of "race science," her features, habitus, and "energy" are dead giveaways to my eye.

Does she claim the tribe? I do not know.

Yes, there is a long history of passing in the black community (as well as in others too).

Could Ginger White play that game and slip by the hypodescent rule, crossing over to whiteness in New Orleans, and dancing at an octoroon ball? Damn straight. Could she go to Latin America or Brazil and reverse the one-drop rule, where any bit of "white" ancestry makes you anything but "black?" Absolutely.

Could Ginger White move to New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles and reinvent herself as a "white woman," turning her back on her kin and people? Yes. It happened all of the time.

Folk wisdom and life experience are also good aids in matters related to the race game. I asked my mother, a black woman from the South, about Herman Cain's habits. She said months ago that he was a womanizer and had an "arrangement" with his wife. I ask moms if she thought Ginger White was black. She laughed and reminded me that a man of Herman Cain's age and social background would see a "high yellow," and "damn near" white woman who had "good hair" as the ultimate prize. He would mess around with a white woman, but Cain would keep a light-skinned black woman as his status symbol.

Commonsense goes a long way on these matters. It can also be easily deceived and tricked. So folks, what clues do you use to win the "guess what box to put this racially ambiguous person in" game? Is it their "habitus?" Skin color? Cues and hints in speech? Other tricks?

And when we play this game, we are often wrong. One, either because said person refuses to acknowledge their racial group, and gets upset when "outed." Or two, our lens is just off, and sometimes we encounter a person whose lineage we just can't place.

Do tell, I bet you have some legendary faux pas to report...all players in the race game do.


Plane Ideas said...

Ms.Ginger is not that high yellow plus the way she wears her hair and the fact Cain selected her it is very obvious from my vantage point she is black and could never pass for white even in a 'one drop rule universe'

millie fink said...

Using a term from Bourdieu without even defining it?! The common folk who come across this post will have trouble with that one.

nomad said...

Only in the provincial banana republic known as the United States would she be considered black.

dtwo said...

First off I enjoy your blog a great deal. Keep doin what u do.

I was born to a white parent and a black parent. I'm biracial but I view myself as Black. I'm pretty certain that I could pass if i wanted to with white people. Blacks and POC would spot me right away. I think the same goes for Cain's latest jump off.

I can generally determine a POC by their features.

Plane Ideas said...

It is because the USA is a racist nation with a legacy of contempt for anything that is non-white Ms. Ginger's race matters to some..

I am so tired of terms like bi-racial and mixed raced and all the other fiction created by white racism it makes me want to puke..

I find it interesting how now in the post racial era these terms now have new currency and importance..

Once a white mother of a child of color told me she wanted her son to get his points for being WHITE..WTF

In the civil rights era only when whites started to get murdered did it become revelant to the nation..In cities under going another version of urban renewal aka gentrification only now will the media and others care about urban decay...Unless their is some white skin in the game for many people nothing else is revelant..WTF..I refuse to accept and acknowledge this perspective and backward discourse..

Ms.Ginger on a human level was out of order for getting her 15 minutes of fame here..She added nothing of value to anything..

Can we move on??

dtwo said...

@tHRASHER It’s too bad that you are tired of the terms bi-racial and mixed race. Bi-racial (black parent/white parent =biracial) describes my background. Growing up as a biracial child in the late 60’s was a bitch. White people said I was black, black people said I wasn’t black enough. I was essentially on an island trying to figure out where I fit in. Talk about being tired. I embrace my blackness. Certain white people might feel comfortable with me initially b/c of the way I look/talk but they say something out of line and I put my foot in their ass.

Aritul said...

The provincial banana republic??? What do you mean?

Anyway, a couple of days ago, my father asked me what race she was and I without thinking said white. Upon further reflection, I would change my answer.

Plane Ideas said...


Nothing you posted has impacted nor influenced me in any measure...I am not interested in human racial terms invented, created and employed by white privledge and arrogance..

I have encountered your tales of woe from many people of color nothing new with your rant..far to many bi-racial people remind me of gays and jewish people they always have to tell me what they are ..WTF
BTW I could be bi-racial...lol,lol,lol

Brian said...


caption: A Herman Cain supporter shows his support prior to a speech by Cain at a campaign rally, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

(follow link for photo)

Anonymous said...

I determined she was black from her mannerism. I want to say her features but if she had fully embraced the image if whiteness, I might have had to pause. In fact, at first glance i thought she was white. Then hearing the way she talked and presented herself was clue to me. As someone born to a grandfather with red hair and freckles, I can totally identify with being misindentified. I cannot count how often I had been asked if I were Hispanic. I would imagine she has had similar experiences and it is probably the reason she was selected by Cain. Looks white but understand his blackness, no wonder he kept her around for 13 years.

chaunceydevega said...

@Thrasher. She is white. Watch your mouth.

@Millie. What you be talking about?

@Nomad. You know that is a sister, you would also smash.

@Dtwo. Thanks for commenting. How would you know? You have inside info. Do tell.

@Aritul. You know see the truth. Your eyes are now open!

@Brian. What does Joe Biden think?

@Sabrina. She is a black woman. In private you know the two of them were getting down a walnut black chocolate deep in loving vibe. If you listen to her interview, you can tell that Cain was laying it down. If he called today, she would come real quick. No pun intended.

dtwo said...

@Thrasher no worries about impacting or influencing you, i'll sleep tonight.

how is the term "invented, created and employed by white privledge and arrogance"

I'm simply stating what i've encountered growing up bi-racial. If you've heard similar stories B4 don't read it/keep it movin. Unlike you i'm interested in hearing about peoples exp with racism, sexism, homophobia, oppression in this country.

dtwo said...

@chaunceydevega "How would you know? You have inside info. Do tell" Not sure what you're referring to?

nomad said...


"provincial banana republic"

hyperbole meant to suggest the US is regressive, in this case, in its system of racial classification. It's also a phony democracy run by crooks.

Plane Ideas said...


If you don't understand some the racial codes and lexicon created, invented, employed by white privledge and arrogance allow to recommend the following:

1.Read the WARN Archives
2.Continue to visit WARN for on going educational lessons, updates, workshops..

And you are correct I am not interested often in tales of woe I have heard to many times already..

chaunceydevega said...

@dtwo. meaning how did you pick her out of the ambiguous negro line up?

nomad said...

Racial liminality is a reality. I don't think it can be ignored. Therefore it must be given a name, be it biracial, mixed, colored or whathaveyou. Especially when it's so light it's indistinguishable from white. Black in name only. Black by choice. A phrase I first heard in reference to black artist Romare Bearden. I think, also, of my neighbor across the street. If I didn't know her and passed her on the street I would assume, from outward appearance that she's white. Biologically she might be. But culturally she's black. I mean even if she is "white", she's living the life of a sister (black spouse, red kids). I don't know. dtwo, is it impolite to ask?

dtwo said...


Save your recomendations. Based on my interaction with you on this site I would not take a recomendation from you.

dtwo said...

@chaunceydevega re: how did you pick her out.

I'll be candid i wasn't sure initially. But looking at her facial features and hearing her talk I determined that she was Black (bi racial, mixed etc). There is not one thing that I could point to and say this is how i knew.

dtwo said...

@nomad re: is it impolite to ask. It depends on who is asking and how the question is asked IMO. As a kid when I was asked it was generally done by whites and done in a rude way. Something along the lines of "what are you". I think if you ask someone what their background is and they can tell that you're genuinely interested I'd think it would be recieved well. It would be by me.

Plane Ideas said...


My heart is broken I am happy of course I will not now be hit over the head with your need to tell us you are bi-racial..WTF..

@ nomad

Nonsense!!!..My name is Greg and I refuse to surrender to America's racial legacy and racial discourse and classification syatems..from colored to negro to quadroon, octoroon, quinroon, nigger,afro-american, yada,yada,yada..

Plane Ideas said...

Bi-Racial folks in America who are binary types i.e white /black..

The white aspect of the bi-racial personhood often takes on the same pathologies of white folks they range from being prejudiced to expressing a white guilt persona's

The Black aspect of the bi-racial personhood often is an angela davis type they are blacker than the blackest negro and they often take on a militant angry nappy headed demeanor..lol,lol, lol

It is tragic and amusing to observe this impact of white racism and how it has excused the pun stained the world..lol,lol,lol

nomad said...

"It is tragic and amusing to observe this impact of white racism and how it has excused the pun stained the world."
I agree, Thrasher. Except that I think it's just the opposite of the way you view it. It was the three tier system of racial classification that was the original. Black-intermediate (mulatto, colored)-white. The Americans created that radical, binary, black-white and nothing in between, one drop system.

nomad said...

It's so commonplace to US, we don't appreciate how unique it is.

dtwo said...

@thrasher Surprised you'd have a name like Greg. The name originated in Europe (Greece, very common in England). I would think someone like yourself would reject a name like Greg due to its European origins. U know the Europeans that colonized so many countries. The Europeans that ruined Africa. I thought a guy like you would have a name like Shaka, Hanibal, Chaka but Greg. Whats ur last name Smith. WTF, WTF LOL, LOL

Plane Ideas said...


Duh...My parents give me my names..BTW last name is THRASHER and I give less than a fuck about it's orgin..I am the man in the suit..

Now get over me and your hurt feelings cause I was not feeling the nonsense of your tired bi-racial woes....lol,lol,lol

@nomad...The Americans you refer to are WHITE so what is your point???

Help a chocolate brown sugar glazed brother out....lol,lol,lol

dtwo said...

Ok Greg Smith. Sounds like the name of "da man" if you ask me. Such an honorable European name. Fitting 4 a guy like yourself. My feelings R fine BTW, LOL, WTF.

Peace Gregory

nomad said...

i already answered that one, thrasher. the point is:It's so commonplace to US, we don't appreciate how unique it is.

Plane Ideas said...


I still don't understand the basis of your comments....

In any event enjoy the weekend

nomad said...

"I refuse to surrender to America's racial legacy and racial discourse and classification syatems"

Okay. Look at it this way. You refuse to surrender to it and yet you use it. It was the Americans who sought to erase the intermediate racial caste (mulattoes). They declared through their one drop rule that (legally) there was no such thing. Just as you do. No biracials. No coloreds, no mulattoes. You subscribe to the very system of racial classification that the new Aryanists created. I'm not condemning this; just stating a fact. We all subscribe to this system. Black people use a lot of things invented by de white man. This is just one of them.

Plane Ideas said...

Again you are feeding yourself with your words not mine..

I don't acknowledge any political racial paradigms sorry nomad can't help you with your dogma or underdeveloped constructs..

So I will reiterate for the last time' I refuse to surrender to America's racial legacy and racial discourse and classification systems'

Enjoy the nite...lol,lol,lol

nomad said...

@ Thrasher
Well, I gave it a shot. You're in a river in Egypt.

fred c said...

@ Thrasher

"my parents gave me my names." Top marks, Greg, for being proud of your heritage. When we were young, you and me, there was a lot of talk of "slave names," and forgive me, but I always thought that it was unseemly. Your ancestors fought hard to get those family names, lots of them died trying, and one of your ancestors CHOSE the name Thrasher, why doesn't matter, and he or she was glad to get it. And your parents named you Greg, good for them too. Congratulations for having the decency to honor their sacrifices and their choices.

(Nothing against the Tonishas of the world, that was an honorable choice by someone's parents too. That I get. It's the changing names mid-stream that I wonder at.)

fred c said...

Off topic there, forgive me, off topic is where I live.

Closer to the thread, I always find the question, "is she White? Is she Black?" to be a regrettable emphasis. It raises the issue in importance, to a special place where it does not belong. It's not that big a deal, move on people! nothing to see.

And it is cringeworthy in the extreme to think that there are so many people who are neither White enough for one group nor Black enough for another. That's a rock and a hard place right there. My heart goes out to them, including our president. It makes one an outcast, and we all need to belong somewhere. (Or more than one where, being embraced by both groups would be best, I think.)

Plane Ideas said...

@ Fred,

Thanks for the comments...I do understand why people get worked up over the questions of racial loyalty..

It is the real time legacy of consequence of racial relations in our nation..From racist nonsense like the 'one drop rule' to terms like field negro and uppity to elites and bourgee..For Black Americans these twisted words, terms were the lexicon , nonemclature the cultural shorthand that was our labels of intra communication many of my tribe did not have to the time to evaluate them on the merits of principal and ethics..

Even with a BO in the white house the sting, stench and contamination of being 3/5 of a human being still lingers on the daily discourse and menus of life for us..I still have moments where the demonization of my being still hurts and leaves me an empty vessel YET I soilder on for interactions with souls like you, CD and so many others whose essence liberates and heals my wounded negro, nigger, coon, jungke bunny, uppity, colored, bi-racial, afro-american, et al soul..

nomad said...

"Your ancestors fought hard to get those family names, lots of them died trying, and one of your ancestors CHOSE "

not true. those names were mostly the names of the whites that owned them. just as the name changers said.

did kunta kinte fight to be named toby?

fred c said...

Testing, one, two . . .

fred c said...

@ Nomad

Are you honestly suggesting that the ex-slaves were forced to stick with the owner's name?

I had a strong hunch that you were wrong, and a pleasant hour on the Google confirmed it. You are, in fact, ridiculously wrong.

Just the fact that 80% of the Washington's currently living in America are Black proves you wrong.

Many, if not most of the slaves knew their father's family names. They were forbidden to have one, so they kept them in oral tradition, serving, of course, under the master's last name. Upon achieving freedom, or what passed for freedom (let's just say), many of them resumed using their own names.

Many of the ex-slaves who were not aware of their family names chose a family name. The names of the big slave owners were not popular, nor were African names. Many took a new given name and made their nickname into their family name. (Nicknames were outside of the control of the masters.) Many took the names of benefactors, such as Oliver Howard, head of the Freedman's Bureau.

So what if many of them kept the owner's name? I would not presume to question their reasons for doing so.

So yes, I'm still thinking that someone CHOSE the names of the people in your family.

fred c said...

@ Nomad, cont'd

And even assuming, arguendo, that anyone who walked away from slavery with a European name, for whatever reason, was carrying a "slave name," does that make it somehow shameful?

After a hundred plus years, aren't they just the names of your beloved ancestors? Think of the long chain of love, association and birth that brought you here.

You have the legal right to change your name to anything that is not inherently offensive so long as your purpose is not to defraud. I think you probably have more pride in your heritage than to do so, but that door is open to you.

fred c said...

I was lucky enough to receive some gentle schooling on the issue in my comments above, and I now realize that my intellectual approach to the "slave name" issue, especially as an outsider myself, was at best inappropriate and at worst offensive. Please accept my apology. It's really none of my business.