Pious Racial Indignation Over Cain's Offenses

In his Miami Herald column, Leonard Pitts Jr. wonders if it gives Clarence Thomas a warm, fuzzy feeling to know he is one of Ann Coulter's blacks.

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Conservative commentator Ann Coulter (Getty Images)

In his Miami Herald column, Leonard Pitts Jr. observes that socially conservative pundits tend to be astonishingly obtuse when discussing race, so it's good that they rarely do so. The remark comes in the aftermath of Ann Coulter's infamous claim, in support of GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, that conservative blacks are better than liberal blacks.

... Last week was an unfortunate exception, as one of "their" blacks struggled to frame a coherent response to allegations that he harassed female colleagues in the 1990s when he headed the National Restaurant Association. Though accusations of sexual impropriety have beset a bipartisan Who's Who of black and white politicians, the right wing came out in force to argue that people are only questioning Cain because he is a black conservative.

This would be the same Cain who not so long ago said racism was no longer a significant obstacle for African Americans. This would be the same right wing that is conspicuous by its silence, its hostility or its complicity when the injustice system imposes mass incarceration on young black men, when the number of hate groups in this country spikes to over a thousand, when the black unemployment rate stands at twice the national average, when the president is called "uppity" and "boy."

But they scream in pious racial indignation when Cain is asked questions he doesn't want to answer.

A "high tech lynching," said blogger Brent Bozell.

"Racially stereotypical," sniffed Rush Limbaugh.

"I believe the answer is yes," said Cain himself when asked on Fox if race was the cause of his woes, adding honestly, if hilariously, that he has no evidence whatsoever to back that up.

Read Leonard Pitts Jr.'s entire column at the Miami Herald.

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