Do you know what it is like to be poor? I do. Imagine growing up, dirt poor (in our more modern terms) in an inner city row home deeply obscured by the far larger lost and forgotten, poor, Black, Philadelphean city-scape. We were Black, we were poor, and no one really gave a shit. Some winters were more harsh than others and being so poor only made the winters worse. One distinct memory persists.
Getting up for school of the morning of a hard freeze with no heat and no food made for a rough reality for a sixth grader. Bundled up as if I was already going to school, heading downstairs, stomach grumbling, to find my brothers and sister sitting in a semi circle around an open stove which was the only source of heat in the house. Much of that old city is still fueled by coal to this day... coal my father could not afford at the time. No coal, no heat. It added an extra sense of bitterness to the already wicked cold and added an extra sense of coldness to a young developing heart turning icy to cope with the harsh realities of life. If that is not a bad enough start to a young kid’s day; imagine my breakfast delight - a can of condensed milk, water, sugar, and vanilla extract to be divided by four kids, warmed up on the stove and poured into my father’s old coffee cups. A breakfast of champions right? (I’m thinking it is not exactly what Wheaties had in mind). And off to school I went in one of the worst moods of my life. (If you have ever wondered where the hashtag #FML actually originated... now you know.) Young, extremely aggressive and short tempered by nature, I found myself sitting tall in the principle's office (yet again). Frustration got the best of me that morning and the class clown got his nose broke when I kicked him in the face for talking too much... his voice was grinding and grinding until I exploded with rage and fury. Standing over him as he lay crying in a bloody heap, I punched him the face for good measure... and kept punching and punching and punching until Tony Cook pulled me from atop of him. (A ground and pound Tito Ortiz would have been proud of). Don’t remember a thing; my hand hurt for three days though, so I know I did it.
Why is this relevant? Because I know what it is like to progress beyond that of what your own father is capable of providing. As a Black youth confined to such inexorable conditions, you either succumb to them, or you rise above them. When the latter is chosen for a course in life, you will inevitably come to a point in time where you find yourself metaphorically face to face with your father’s image. It is a heartbreaking moment of discovery when you conclude; “I will be better than you.” As you progress, a certain sense of arrogance sets in, a sense of control and power that you quickly learn to harness as you inflict your will upon those whom posses a vision of self that places them as your subordinate. On occasion, this sense of accomplishment can cross lines of appropriateness. You see, this is what I think happened to Cain.
His father was brilliant. A poor driver of a very successful businessman, he asked for shares of the company instead of cash rewards a bonuses - the apple did not fall far from the tree. Seeing how his father worked capitalism, Cain vowed to best him having taken an early journey from poverty as he began to fast track to greater success. For a period in his life, it may have gotten the best of him.
Upon succeeding my own father, a certain sense of arrogance became overwhelming too. Rather than grope (or break people’s faces) I took on specialized military challenges - almost in hopes that pushing the extremes would ensure that my final days of life would be in the comparative comfort of military duty. This would ensure I have both succeeded and would never raise my children in the conditions I was forced to endure that destroyed my childhood innocence. (Rough concept huh)? For a poor Black youth, overtaking your father comes with baggage that no other person can ever really grasp.
Because of this, the first accusation levied against Cain was immediately dismissed; never even thought twice about it. Four though, that’s a bit a much! Given the statistics of the number who report harassment against those who do not paints a completely different picture; it has to be far more than four. While Cain refuses to admit it, his support base has been rocked by this (see Jimmy Kimmel’s show that aired last night). Cain supporters are heart broken to say the least. Why? Because the non-politician has been forced down the level of the average politician who is today, burdened in scandal. Politicians lie, often with none of the tell tale signs of lying. (Remember this guy)? Questions then arise: Is he lying? Is she lying? Did team Obama pay her to put the rest of her life at risk to squash the ever increasing formidability of @THEHermanCain?
A note on the latter. Obama got into the Illinois Senate by having his three competitors removed from the ballot leaving him to run unopposed. Clearly, if the man is this ruthless...
These challenges in morals and values are preconditioned to assume guilt, not innocence. “It’s complicated.” America’s European ancestry is a sordid one. Everyone on the planet was thought to be second to the White male. Blacks were slaves, Native Americans in many ways saw a far worse fate. Women were no better, but women were able to overcome the victim role as they have been offered the protection of the social benefit of the doubt. Cain, a Black man, is not. Thus, with no proof, he is presumed guilty - even if he beats the rap.
Cain’s likability has as much to do with him as it does what he represents politically. The people, in 2010, elected Republicans to stop the Progressive’s destruction of America’s intent. The elected Republicans have proven to be completely inept at best. Cain is the popular divergence from traditional GOP agenda driven politicians; until now anyway. While Cain’s actual separation from the Republican norm is far more slight than his supports will ever admit, or may even realize, he is a fresh breath from the norm of politically fouled air; for this, many are quite enamored with the incredibly likable Cain. They [Cain supporters] are at a loss even though everything they have asked for has long since been in the form of a far more experienced presidential candidate - one that lacks such integrity violations to boot.
The potential loss of Cain as a candidate has sent a shock wave through the Right - a shock wave from which there may be no recovery - a shock wave that could well result in a 2012 Democrat President! Even though many Cain supporters show the typical signs of political denial when it comes to Cain, they, as a group, are smart enough to know the far reaching implications of a lost Cain candidacy. (Trust me, if Obama’s sense of arousal is as poor as his leadership abilities, the Presidential Chubby in France right now is completely unnoticeable). Be that as it may, the entire Right is not only in jeopardy, it has been reduced, once again, to the failures it is most reputed for. Cain was “that guy” who could return the Republican Right to grace. Without him, the inept Romney’s and hypocritical Perry’s are likely to again reign supreme leaving Republican voters desperate for a fresh face to deliver them away from their own voting histories. (I really hope you are tracking with me on that)!
Can Cain recover? Just look at the candidate field which is riddled by scandalous politicians... now you tell me. Of course this now makes him one of them, but perhaps he always was.
What I like about Cain is that he has delivered to the people what they have asked for. The people have very clearly stated that it is time to lessen the entitlement sensibility in America. Cain delivered to them his 9-9-9(-9) plan which essentially removes the people’s special pardon for simply being American (less of course those in America unlawfully whom are draining an already crippled entitlement system). Whether you like the facets of the 9-9-9 plan or not, you have got to respect him for listening to AND answering the desires of the people. Last I checked, it is how America was designed to work. There comes a time in politics where you must revert back to the American design; one of freedom, voice and choice. Because I have many concerns about his tools to deliver America away from Modern Liberal Politics of Plunder simply means I am in the minority (again, imagine that). This is good because this is how America is supposed to work. Hell, it is how Obama and his “rediculousness” took control! The people spoke out against America’s founding intent and sought, through means of progressive irrationalism, to destroy it. Today, they are very clear in their intent to destroy capitalism itself. (If you short sightedly voted for this because you were caught up in the Obama hype - slap yourself! No hard feelings towards you, but like my mom would say after I hurt myself doing something extremely stupid - which was all of the time: “Now what did you learn?” Hopefully, you learn faster than I).
If you find yourself struggling to rationalize your continued support for Cain, keep things in perspective. It may turn out that Cain is not that squeaky clean political antitheses Conservatives have been yearning for. So what. Bubbles of hope often pop in life. When they do it forces you to think in more practical and realistic terms which have not yet been fully applied to Cain because he has only been perceived as the non-politician. Apply them and reevaluate your support from there; you may be surprised at just how deep your resolve actually runs. Support is always conditional, but few actually take the time to identify their conditions of support!
I look at it like this. That very bad sixth grade morning I snapped breaking a kid’s nose, and beating him unconscious - it was different time in my life, one that I found myself completely submerged in my own bitter reality. As heinous an act as it was: How long am I to be held to account for it? My entire life. However, it is up to you to determine your own feelings about it. That is where you should be with Cain.
Don’t assume guilt because you have been socially conditioned to do so to thwart our European, White male history of discrimination.
I will defend Cain when it is reasonable to do so, but you probably will not see me supporting his presidential run until he is the last man standing.
Honestly, the way I see it, if both I and you supported him; we’d both be wrong. It’s a matter of perspective: Let me be wrong for my reasons while allowing yourself the guilt-free freedom to be right for yours.
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