Racial Condescension from the Left

I like Herman Cain. I respect his achievements in the business world and I enjoy listening to him in interviews and debates. He’s an unapologetic conservative who speaks proudly of the American dream, and he comes across as an all around nice guy.

As a conservative, I know I’m not alone in that assessment. In fact, I’d say it’s probably the consensus among us.

According to actress Janeane Garofalo, however, there’s a much different explanation of conservatives’ affection for Cain. She has concluded that they like him because he’s useful in concealing their racism.

Garofalo recently made this declaration on Keith Olbermann’s television show (yes, he still has one), stating, “Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican party… Herman Cain provides this great opportunity so you can say ‘Look, this is not a racist, anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look we have a black man.'”

How interesting that for the last three years, progressives (including Garofalo) have routinely touted the claim that conservatives who oppose Obama are racist. Now, the same people are telling us that conservatives who support Cain are… well, racist.

Now while I understand that analyzing the bizarre comments that routinely come out of Garofalo’s mouth isn’t all that productive, there is a purpose in doing so this time. Her remarks serve as a good case study for the racial condescension that is prevalent within the progressive ideology.

Here’s a key question: Why is it so painfully hard for Garofalo to believe that a prestigious black leader like Herman Cain could have actually earned his support? For that matter, why is it so hard for her to believe that Barack Obama could have earned his criticism? Sure, there’s a partisan element to it. Garofalo admittedly hates conservatives and takes every opportunity to bash them, but her implication of racism is what is particularly revealing.

As many might recall, Garofalo was actually the first public figure to levee charges of racism against the Tea Party, back in 2009. Unlike many who have continued her narrative, I believe Garofalo actually believes what she said. She’s not alone.

The reason is that many white liberals absolutely believe that black people in this country (even the highest achievers in our society) can’t stand on their own merits. Their viewpoint stems from white guilt over the racial atrocities committed by their ancestors, and a well-meaning sense of duty to right past wrongs. White guilt is certainly not exclusive to liberals. I’d say a large percentage of white Americans, including myself, have felt it at times in their lives. But the real problem is that the strain of 21st century liberalism that Garofalo comes from believes that there is nobility in identifying black Americans as victims rather than as equals. Sure, they’ll never say that outright, but their actions speak for them.

In Obama’s case, people like Garofalo view him as a helpless victim of white conservatives who resent him for no other reason than the color of his skin. In Cain’s case, they view him as a hapless victim who is too naive to understand that he’s being used as a prop by white conservatives.

To me, those positions are pathetically condescending to both men and to the African American community. Garofalo is essentially attributing their relevance to our political discourse along the lines of their race and not their individuality.

Obama and Cain have both achieved great things in their lives. They have worked harder than many of us to get there. They are not defined by their race as none of us should be. Whether you agree with their politics or not, they’re both American success stories who don’t deserve to be continually insulted and used by people like Garofalo who are obsessed with filtering critiques of individual African Americans through the prism of racism.

The condescension needs to be called out and stopped by those who actually believe in racial equality.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration, and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. His first novel, entitled "From a Dead Sleep", is now on sale! He lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website: http://www.johndalybooks.com/
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  • Marion

    To Herman Cain and people like him,

    As an African American woman I believe both parties are condescending to African Americans, but we choose the lesser of two evils. Conservatives live in denial making excuse after excuse as to why African Americans don’t or won’t support the Republican Party, when it’s really quite simple.

    Ask yourself one question…. why would we? History has shown why blacks went from being Republican supporters to Democratic voters and yet you question the black allegiance to the Democratic Party? Instead question the horrible history of this country and the Republican Party then (1964 Barry Goldwater, 1968 Nixon’s southern strategy) and now (Tea party). Republicans have ignored and dismissed the interests of black voters for some time now. So lay the blame where it belongs squarely in your laps!!

    What’s even more sickening as I review some of your comments … you still assume that African Americans are unable to decide for ourselves what’s in our own best interest. IF we understand nothing else, we know the Republican Party is NOT in our best interest!!

    Herman Cain for whatever reasons made a personal choice to support Republicans; I won’t judge him for that. I also congratulate him for his achievements however, insulting and demeaning an entire group of people for their reasons and or choices certainly won’t turn the tide. If the Republican Party want the African American vote …. Earn it!! You see contrary to popular belief we are very capable of thinking beyond the plantation ………… and without the help of the so called master race.

  • David W. Hunter

    Very well said.

  • chief98110

    That is what I have come to expect from the loony left, everything they say is “truth” chisel in granite. So, when a conservative points out the error in their reasoning we are racists.
    God help us, Great post.

  • robin in fl

    Janeane Garofalo is one of the reasons I switched parties from dem to republican ..SHe is INSANE and will cause sane thinkers to run and run away fast! :)

    • Ted

      If you actually believe what you say then why not stay just to hold open the door for the exodus of the Dems? So why didn’t it happen?

  • joe from louisiana

    I wonder if we ignored Garofolo, she might disappear into obscurity. She is a weirdo and pathetic. While I enjoyed the article, conservatives have become the new apologists. Always on the defensive and trying to prove we are not hateful racists. With these people that is a Herculean task. As a southerner, the Olbermann’s and Garofolo’s are allowed extreme mischief and downright bigotry against us. I don’t really care because she is not going to wake up one day and realize she is a miserable person that tries to shoulder the misery of the world. Mr. Cain is definitely a breath of frsh air in a moldy room.

  • Bruce A.

    Nice article. I like Herman Cain for one reason. While the politicians were busy bankrupting the US, Herman Cain was building & running a successful business. The rest of the field, all politicians. He will get my vote, twice if necessary.

  • John P Robert MD

    It is not surprising to hear liberals analysing Mr Cain and Mr Obama as victims of racism. In fact, they view everything through a prism of race. Conservatives abhor Mr Obama as a Progressive and redistributionist and appreciate Mr Cain as an entrepreneur and applaud his common-sense approach to problems. Liberals see them first and foremost as BLACK. Who are the real racists?

  • IndependentLasVegas

    The Libs always fail to leave out the dirty details of the 2008 election. 65% of the total vote for Obama were WHITE.. Crossover WHITE republicans, WHITE independents and WHITE LIBS..

    If whites were racist there is no way they vote for Obama and McCain is our President.

    • John Daly

      Quite frankly, white conservatives shouldn’t waste one more breath being on defense over this racism b.s.

      Something I have found interesting lately is all of the people who are up in arms over Herman’s Cain’s recent comment that African American’s have been brainwashed by the Democratic party. When over 90% of black voters vote for Democrats, it’s apparently out of bounds to draw a conclusion from that. Yet, when over 90% of Tea Party people are white (and I’m not even sure it’s that high), it’s okay to make a huge deal out of that statistic and presume there must be some sort of racial element to it.

    • Ted

      Nice spin! Obama lost the white vote by 11.5 million votes in 2008 it doesn’t matter how you spin the white votes he did get. The reason he won is that he got 23 million more minority votes which offset the white vote.

  • John In MA

    A family member who has lived most of their life as an attorney in MS shed the most light on this matter for me. Modern day liberals, in particular those who stay hyper-aware of race, act more like the racists of the civil rights era than anyone else. They have singled out people who are black and assigned them special characteristics and assumed special needs that are not assigned to others, even Hispanics. They see a black person, and whether overtly or not, they think they must immediately change their own behavior. They shift into a mode of greater tolerance of behavior (bad), lowered expectations, assignment of special needs, etc.

    While the dwindling numbers of “old style” racists still have ill feelings for black people, the “new style” racists have ill feelings for non-blacks (mostly white), especially but not limited to those in power. Anger, angst, animosity, hatred are all targeted to the respective black or non-black groups.

    So, in essence, both the “old style” and “new style” racists isolate black people as different and in need of special attention. While each group’s actions may be different, they both essentially “quarantine” an entire race from the general population. The only primary difference is one targets their anger/etc. towards the group, while the other targets the same emotions towards most everyone else. In either case, there is still an inherent believe of inferiority or incapability for a race, driven by hatred and anger towards either that group or another.

    • John Daly

      Very well stated.

      • Ted

        Wrong electoral college breath. How’d those post election riots work out for you.

    • CCNV

      I think we’ll find out in 2012 which group riots, loots and murders when obama is NOT re-elected.

      As for fugly gargoyle, I think the people sent a very loud message when her TV show was cancelled.

    • EddieD_Boston

      They view minorities in the abstract and, therefore, can’t comprehend them as individuals, with individual tastes, beliefs and opinions.

      My guess is, because most of them are well-to-do suburban kids who really didn’t know any minorities until they started feeling guilty about having it so easy, they needed to find a guilt cleansing cause to champion.

      So the “I’m a better person than you are” mantra rings hollow and they’re too foolish to understand why.

  • Shirl

    Obviously, this is the only way Janeane can get attention. She must be sorely lacking. There never is any merit to her blathering. Why else would she be on Olbermann’s show; they were made for each other.

  • David Carls

    I do beg your pardon John, I usually read Burt Pruletsky. I had him on mind when I wrote.

    • John Daly

      No problem. Someone else thought I was Bernie. lol

  • David Carls

    Great piece Burt and oh, so true. I look forward each day to your postings as I usually agree with you fully. I believe the Liberals/Progressives have some sort of plantation mindset, taking care of and trying to guide the “poor ignorant blacks.” That infuriates me no end. I honestly have only a few prejudices, the main one concerning congenital idiots like the ditzy Garafalo.

  • Freedom Fannie

    Well said! Your piece is an important tool we can use to combat the untrue generalizations made by the left…particularly the misguided in Hollywood.
    Thank you, Mr. Goldberg!

  • Crash

    Great piece…and on target. I like Cain…so I must be a racist? Nope, sorry Ms Garafalo, I like him because he made something of himself (no matter what his color), is tremendously successful, and doesn’t cave to racist pressure either way…he is simply…an American. I think the only true racists left are probably a few hard core rednecks and…most of those of Garafalo’s ilk. Good luck Mr Cain in all your pursuits.

  • chuck.tatum

    Spot on!

    Garafalo, more than any other liberal I hear seems so positive in her criticisms. Most people will have a little humility and will preface their opinions with, “I think…” or “In my experience…” Not Garafalo. She knows the “truth” more solidly than some idiot speaking in tongues. Pardon that redundancy.