Cain's Not the First Self-Loathing Black

It's an ailment that many African Americans suffer from to some degree, Black Snob editor Danielle Belton writes. 

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Rick Perry and Herman Cain (Getty)

Black Snob editor Danielle Belton challenges a recent opinion piece by Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. that questions whether Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is embarrassed to be black. She says that the nation's evolving racial strictures have caused most blacks to experience some form of self-loathing at one point or another in their lives.

Cain's problem, she surmises, has less to do with race than with his outsized ego.

Racialized self-loathing is a pretty common ailment many African Americans suffer from, both in major and minor doses. Almost everyone has dealt with some form of it at some time. The important thing is usually through the help of others or self-education, many individuals can work through it. In his latest column, Leonard Pitts, Jr. wonders if Herman Cain is one of those folks who fully bought that white is right ...

Pitts was responding to recent statements by Cain that downplayed the effects of racism, arguing that racism is now a non-factor. Then, later, accused blacks of being racist towards him due to his political views. Pitts argues that Cain is playing into the mindset of certain Tea Party conservative whites who believe they are the "true" victims of racism, despite the overwhelming lack of evidence.

I don't know if Cain is "embarrassed" of his blackness. There's no way of knowing someone's heart in these situations. But I have known my fair share of Herman Cains in my lifetime, those "bootstrap" individuals who lived through one familiar set of experiences, and instead of those experiences making him more empathetic and altruistic, they made him more self-centered and hardened. He's not nearly as rigid with anger and bitterness as, say, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, but he's operating with a similar mindset.

Read Danielle Belton's entire post at the Black Snob.

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Danielle C. Belton is a freelance journalist and TV writer, founder of the blog blacksnob.com and editor-at-large of Clutch magazine.

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