Herman Cain pulls race card on Rick Perry
The Washington Post's attempt to "macaca" Rick Perry generated a racialist response from a surprising source. Stephanie McCrummen's ham-handed effort to smear the Texas Governor relied on hearsay, anonymous cloudy recollections of events from nearly 30 years ago and interviews with black Texas residents recalling how they were treated in the Jim Crow 1950's. Ms. McCrummen is a reporter based in Nairobi: it would seem the Post could bring in someone based in Texas for this research, but perhaps the editors weren't looking for someone with local knowledge so much as someone willing to grind the ax against Governor Perry. Jazz Shaw at Hot Air accurately describes this screed as journalistic malpractice.
Governor Perry's name wasn't on the lease for this property until 1997, 14 years after the offensive term was removed from a boulder outside the property. Mr. Perry's record on matters of race is reportedly unassailable. Which brings us to the surprising source of racialist commentary about the Washington Post's pet rock.
I have found the candidacy of Herman Cain inspiring and refreshing. His sense of humor is nearly unmatched among the current crop of candidates and his business acumen is a valuable asset. His speeches are inspiring and his ideas regarding the reduction and restructuring of government are creative and resourceful. While he has not been my top choice for the 2012 nomination, I would consider him on the short list of those worthy of the office of President of the United States.
My respect for Herman Cain made his racialist remarks about Governor Perry particularly discouraging:
My reaction is that it's just very insensitive...There isn't a more vile, negative word than the N-word, and for him to leave it up there as long as he did, before I hear they finally painted over it, is just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country.
Governor Perry never owned the property, and it appears that he suggested his father remove the offensive word as soon as he saw it. He didn't "leave it up there" at all. Perhaps Mr. Cain felt his need to establish bona fides with the black community superseded his responsibility to be respectful to his fellow candidate. Playing the race card was one of the last moves I would have expected from Herman Cain. His willingness to pile on the smearing of Governor Perry seems more like something we could expect from Barack Obama or Al Sharpton than a principled conservative. It seems not unlike Michele Bachmann's clumsy, over-the-top attack on Perry regarding the Gardasil issue. Bachmann's attack on Perry backfired and I suspect Mr. Cain's will as well.
I suggest Mr. Cain be leery of accepting mainstream media reports at face value. Today the Washington Post comes after Rick Perry. If Herman Cain remains in the race, it won't be long before the lefties at the WP are manufacturing stories about him from the same crooked cloth.
Ralph Alter is a regular contributor to American Thinker.