Posted on: Thursday, October 13th, 2011 by Nina May
The most historic presidential match up for the 2012 elections wouldbe Barack Obama and Herman Cain. There is an amazing similarity to twomen, one hundred years ago, who became leaders in the civil rightsbattle. Barack Obama and Herman Cain epitomize the distinctions betweenW.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington on so many levels that it begsa closer examination.
Booker T. Washington was born into slavery, lived through and survivedthe civil war and went on to found Tuskegee Institute realizing thateducation and a marketable skill would be the keys to lifting the newlyfreed slaves from their position of servitude to one of equality withthe white man. He was keenly aware, that in the south, the Democratshad fought not only a war to prevent abolition, but fought to preventthe passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. They instituted JimCrow laws at the turn of the century to keep southern blacks fromvoting because they all, unanimously, supported the party of Lincoln,their liberator.
W.E.B. Du Bois, on the other hand was born a free black, was educatedat Harvard and grew to hate the conciliatory, accommodating manner inwhich Booker T. Washington wanted to deal with the issue of segregationand discrimination. He felt that Washington's plan to move slowly,teach blacks to integrate into the white culture with a skill,education and diplomacy was not the proper way to achieve totalintegration and pushed for faster, more radical approaches evensuggesting that the “talented tenth” should lead the way.This mindset is very much in existence today as liberal elitists, withivy league degrees, feel that they are somehow more superior,intellectually and in many other ways, to those not of their culturalpersuasion, or geographic proximity to this imagined greatness. Du Boisembraced the teachings of Marx as does Barack Obama believing that themasses are in great need of leadership from the ten percent of thepopulation who are gifted enough to dispense this wisdom. Neither hadexperienced the degradation of either slavery or discrimination andsegregation. Barack moved to the mainland of the U.S. in late 1979,long after the end of the civil rights movement, and was in the hallsof academic neutrality, never feeling the sting of racial hatred thatwas heaped upon both Booker T. Washington and Herman Cain.These two men understood that even though they had been dealt from thebottom of the deck, one hundred years apart from one another, they bothdetermined to embrace the freedoms that were carved out of a verytenuous and hazard laden culture and navigate the waters with wit,wisdom, humility, and strength of character, centered in the knowledgethat they were chosen by God for such a time as this. Both chose theeducational and free market system to achieve their goals, put theirstandard of excellence in the ground and bring as many people into thismindset as possible. In spite of the obstacles that were created byeither ignoring the laws and the 14th and 15th Amendments, or bypolitical expediency and fabrication to keep blacks disenfranchised andsegregated from society, they were both able to succeed in ways thatmost whites were not even able to accomplish.
The 14th Amendment, was passed unanimously in 1868 by the Republicansand opposed unanimously by the Democrats. This hostility toward blackscontinued for years until even the Supreme Court wrongly ruled in 1896in the case of Plessey v. Ferguson that the 14th Amendment perhapsmeant that blacks were equal to whites but it did not mean they shouldshare accommodations or facilities suggesting a policy of “separate butequal.” This mindset continued for several decades until the CivilRights movement in 1965.
Both Washington and Cain experienced the sting of segregation, theinequity of the law, and the ridicule of existence based on no otherfactor than the color of their skin. W.E.B. Du Bois escaped criticism,surrounded by intellectuals who protected him from such treatment bytheir insular status of elitism. He grew angry with the slow rate ofconversion to his cause of freedom and finally left the country, movingto Africa to further his Marxists ideals, where he died at age 95.Ironically, one hundred years later, we have a president who came fromAfrican descent, born to a man who embraced the same ideals as Du Bois,yet like Du Bois, escaped the racial degradation visited upon bothWashington and Cain, who ironically were both able to overcome the truedisparity of treatment that the other two only railed against.When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, he was swept into office bymillions of whites, both liberal and conservative, who felt that thisaction would finally expiate the demons of racism from the country, andusher in a true age of enlightenment, dignity and unity for the wholeUnited States. Many white Americans felt that it was time to releasethe helm of power to a black whose ancestors had suffered unspeakableinjustice at the hands of their ancestors, whether related by blood orsimply color of skin. Ironically though, Barack was not the one who fitthat description since he was a first generation black, born on a tinyisland in the middle of the Pacific, only being a state of the UnitedStates for two years. There was no American culture to speak of inHawaii that would impact his understanding of race relations on themainland, and when he did finally move to the mainland, he immediatelywent into the hermetically sealed petri dish of liberal indoctrinationand inculcation that completed the teachings of his fathers, grandparents and mentors.
Herman Cain on the other hand watched as both his parents held severalmenial jobs, rejecting welfare and assistance in order to give theirson an opportunity to achieve what they were not able to. He was taughtthat his race was not a factor in his achievement or failure, it was upto him as an individual. He rejected the collectivist mentality andstill reminds people that they can be rich, or successful if they haveself reliance and not wait for the government to give them permissionto succeed.
So here we have four men; two supporting the power of the free marketsystem, individualism and personal responsibility and two embracing theidea of collectivism, class warfare, wealth distribution and governmentcontrol over all aspects of ones life. And they are all four black men,totally dispelling the myth that all blacks are the same with the samemoral foundation or philosophical leanings.
To compare Barack Obama to Herman Cain, suggesting they are the thesame because of the color of their skin is absurd, but unfortunately,in the discussion of race, the left has only allowed one paradigm foran entire class of people suggesting that to them, nothing has reallychanged in 100 years. And, unfortunately, the same party that keptracism, segregation and discrimination alive all these years has fannedthe flames even more since the election of the first black presidentsuggesting that if you do not support him then you are somehow racist.The same party that fought a war to keep plantations alive with theblood and sweat of slaves has erected new plantations of politicalcorrectness defined by philosophical discrimination and characterassassination, used as tools to intimidate, thus serving the samepurposes of their crudely manufactured Jim Crow Laws.
The same party that has fought equal education for blacks through thedecades has succeeded in teaching a philosophy of government supremacy,ironically run almost entirely by whites, but this time without thesheets. Those, like Herman Cain who have dared to speak out againstthis mindset are berated with insults such as “Uncle Tom,” “Oreo,”“Sell Out,” or it is declared that they are acting white, as though allwhites act the same.
The chess board is set, the pieces have been positioned and theDemocrats think that they will achieve the final move by relying on theracial pawns on the board to checkmate the Republicans suggesting thatall whites are racists if they don't reelect Barack Obama. The only wayfor the country to exorcise itself from this demon of racism, that wethought had been destroyed in 2008, is to vote for a black in 2012 . .. but this time it will be a black man who embraces different values.The comparison between the two will be apples to apples, race will notbe an issue, and their very divergent and radically different viewswill be the true focus of the debate. One will espouse the virtues offreedom, individual liberty and responsibility and the power of a freemarket, fair laws, smaller government and fuel to feed the engine ofthe economy through less interference and regulations. The other willcontinue to suggest that higher taxes and spending, greater governmentcontrol, less individual freedom and no responsibility for behavior orconsequences is the direction the country should take. We have but onechoice in 2012 to finally drive a stake in the heart of racism in thiscountry and that is to nominate, and elect Herman Cain President thuscontinuing the work that men like Booker T. Washington began 100 yearsago, and redeem the memories of all those who spent their lives hopingthat change would really come.
Articles by Nina May
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