Herman Cain’s quote was, “If you are unemployed and not rich it is no one’s fault but yours.”
All of my life I have heard White and Black people make almost the identical statement, but the meaning is the same. Allow me to put his statement in several categories. There have always been a substantial number of rich people who truly believe that those who were underachievers that it was their fault.
Throughout history there have been White Americans—even during slavery—who would describe the slaves who worked from sun up to sun down as slovenly, lazy, shiftless and worse. In fact, the law perceived Blacks as less than human and definitely not considered 100 percent human. The truth is that in 2011 too many descendants of the slave masters sit around the dinner tables, lodges, churches, in squad cars, pillow talk, union halls, water fountains, etc., and referred to Blacks in derogatory terms. They also include those they refer to as poor White trash. They tell their families and friends, “I know these people, they are unreliable, not dependable, not trustworthy, welfare-oriented and would not accept a job if you gave them one.” There has been a number of White medical professionals deemed to be experts that wrote papers and made speeches across the world about their perception of Black people. There were those who stated that the Black mind would never be the equal of a White person, because the Black brain is much smaller, thereby the capacity to think is not there. “I recollect when the statements were made that Blacks had natural talent, but lacked the ability to coach or manage, play quarterback, middle linebacker, and you know definitely Blacks can’t swim.
Did Herman Cain say something more outrageous than what White America and some Blacks have said over the years, or is it because he has the audacity to run for president as a Republican? That is my personal conclusion.
I have witnessed a number of Blacks, who don’t use the word rich, but have done well. They live in communities that we could not drive through, belong to clubs we could not join, don’t attend Black churches, are often one of two or three who are members of White organizations who quote Herman Cain. They exclude rich, but the rest of the statement they repeat. I have heard these successful men and women belittle those Blacks who are doing as well as they appear to be doing.
It is my personal belief that Blacks across America felt comfortable vilifying Herman Cain solely because he is a Black Republican and no other legitimate reason.
In every major city in America including Pittsburgh where the Democrats have been in control for more than 70 years, Blacks are in extremely critical situations and not one voice from these same people who attack Cain have said one mumbling word. WHY?
Do not focus on what Herman Cain said, but focus on what my father instilled in his family: RICH IS NOT A STATE OF BEING, RICH IS A STATE OF MIND.
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(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)