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The Godfather: Why Herman Cain Is Good for Black America Why Herman Cain Is Good for Black America

Regardless of his politics, Herman Cain is a reminder of the depth and breadth of the African-American community.


Against all odds, a 65-year-old black pizza mogul is the Republican Party’s latest darling. Herman Cain, former CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza company, is surging in the polls, surpassing Rick Perry to sit neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney atop the GOP presidential field. Odds are that eventually the buzz around Cain will die down, and Romney will emerge victorious to take on Obama in the 2012 general election. But regardless of whether he wins or loses—and he’ll probably lose—as a black person I’m happy with what Cain has accomplished thus far. I’m happy he’s in the race and speaking his mind, and I think, despite inevitable problems, he’s good for black America.

Tell some liberals, especially liberals of color, that you like Herman Cain and you’re likely to get groans, chortles, or, from the far leftists, angry stares, and not without reason. Cain is, of course, a man who last week practically called black people political zombies, telling CNN that blacks “have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view.” Beyond that statement, Cain’s politics themselves—low taxes for business, suspicion of Muslims—are not the kinds of things black people generally find endearing in their leaders.


Cain has his share of outspoken black detractors. Actor and former CNN host D.L. Hughley tweeted in September that Cain belongs on a pancake box, like Aunt Jemima. Another CNN contributor, Roland Martin, tweeted that Cain needs to eat some barbecue and listen to James Brown to get more black. He added, “Dude is in bad need of a brotherly hug!” Michael Colyar, a comedian, didn’t mince words a la Hughley and Martin: “Uncle Tom Cain is the newest Republican lapdog,” he wrote on Twitter. “[He] will do anything to be seen.”

It’s ironic that people irritated by Cain’s increasing popularity have responded just as Cain predicted: with closed-mindedness. Cain has theorized since the start of his campaign that there are blacks who will dismiss and disparage him out of hand simply because he’s a conservative. It turns out he’s right.

Of course, blacks have every reason in the world to be wary of the Republican Party. For decades, the GOP has leveraged anti-black fears to win elections. And the social welfare spending cuts advocated by conservatives are often thinly veiled whines about the black welfare state, the same kind of nonsense that perpetuated the myth of “the welfare queen” throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. Neither major American political party seems to have the best interests of black people in mind, but if one is more racist than the other, it’s the Republican camp. Which is why I’m so happy Cain is a Republican.

When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, he did so with the support of 96 percent of black voters. In the four decades leading up to that, at least 80 percent of black voters supported the Democratic candidate in every presidential election. Not only do blacks like Democrats, they also feel alienated by Republicans. “According to David Bositis, a political analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies,” wrote the Washington Post in 1998, “the GOP is still considered by most blacks as ‘the white people's party.’”

To every outsider looking in—Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike—the black community is a monolithic bloc when it comes to politics: all Democrats all the time. While there’s some truth to that stereotype, it’s been a disastrous one for the black community overall. Republicans know they’re not going to get black votes, so they don’t even try; in fact, they herald policies and perspectives that actively shun minorities. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, does what everyone does when given total dominion over an oppressed group: They take that group's loyalty for granted. In the end, neither party puts forth policy that will meaningfully affect blacks, and the black community suffers because of it.

Hermain Cain is not the savior of the black community by any means. His stated policy stances are mostly doctrinaire conservativism, and he cowers when faced with racial discussions. Nevertheless, I can’t help but be ecstatic that he’s in the running for president. He’s a reminder to Americans of every color that there is vast depth and breadth to the black community. Not every black person voted for Obama. Not every black person likes the welfare state. Not every black person wants higher taxes for wealthy white Americans. Cain is black, and he doesn’t fit any of those molds. If anyone is predictable, it’s Cain’s hecklers, booing and calling him an Uncle Tom from behind their Twitter avatars.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Gage Skidmore

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Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. At the age of 10 he was given to the Auld family.

As a child, he worked as a house slave and was able to learn to read and write, and he attempted to teach his fellow slaves the same skills.

At the age of 15, he was given to Thomas Auld, a cruel man who beat and starved his slaves and thwarted any opportunity for them to practice their faith or to learn to read or write.

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Culture
via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

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In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

Communities
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

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In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

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Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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