Is Cain Really More 'Authentically Black' Than Obama?

Mother Jones blogger Adam Serwer lambastes National Review for resorting to infantile racial-identity politics and gender sterotypes in its defense of Herman Cain.

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Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain (Getty)

In a blog entry at Mother Jones, Adam Serwer condemns National Review's defense of GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain as the dumbest of the year. He accuses the author, Victor Davis Hanson, of marching out every possible cliché of right-wing victimhood, infantile racial-identity politics and gender stereotypes.

... assuming the alleged victims couldn't be more excited to be reliving this experience, Hanson describes the allegations against Cain as comparable to a second bout of cancer ("For Cain, who at first seemed blindsided and defensive, the hysteria must seem like yet another round of toxic chemotherapy").

But that's not quite enough. No, Hanson, who like other Republicans has spent the last three years complaining that "the bigot card ... is now not much more than a political ploy to win an argument through calumny when logic and persuasion have failed," just goes ahead and says the whole thing is due to liberal racism. "Black authenticity, as defined by Southern mannerisms and darker complexion, amplified by conservatism or traditionalism, earns liberal unease," reads an op-ed in National Review, the magazine that endorsed white supremacist terrorism as a means to stop Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. The real problem is that Herman Cain is really black, while Barack Obama is the kind of black that white people like:

"Again, the comparison with Obama is volatile: Cain is authentically African-American and of an age to remember the Jim Crow South; Obama, the son of an elite Kenyan and a white graduate student, came of age as a Hawaiian prep-schooler, whose civil-rights credentials are academic. Cain's lack of experience and seemingly embarrassing ignorance about the right of return or nuclear China are amplified by his unaffected style, whereas Obama's similar gaffes (57 states) and buffoonery (inflating tires to preclude drilling for oil) are mitigated by metrosexual cool. After all, we live in an age when Herman Cain, with his black hat, his deep Southern cadences, and his ease among tea-party crowds, is suspect, whereas Barack Obama booms on about 'millionaires and billionaires' while golfing, jetting to Martha's Vineyard, and shaking down demonized corporate-jet owners at $35,000 a pop."

Read Adam Serwer's entire blog entry at Mother Jones.

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