Provocative title, I know..... But I just came across this clip from a recent Chris Wallace/Herman Cain interview and found myself gobsmacked by the "WTF?" factor of the whole thing.
As Wallace wraps up his interview with Cain, he mentions in an aside, a comment made by Cain where he suggested that "when" he becomes President... he would like to make some slight changes to "Hail to the Chief", the song played to announce/honor the arrival of the President at a formal function or engagement.
Cain gives a preview of what life with a corporate CEO as President might be like, when he suggests that the Presidential fanfare might need a little "marketing" style re-branding to better suit his image. "It's kind of like in marketing." Cain noted. "Periodically, companies that have been successful at branding might modify their logos just a little bit to give it a fresher look. I think 'Hail to the Chief' needs a little bit fresher sound."
Now, it's all well and good that Cain thinks part of the solution to America's problems lies with a better theme song.... He does, after all, tend to use a lot of Madison Avenue "ad-speak" and gimmickry in his presentation of his ideas ( i.e., the "9-9-9 Tax Plan", etc.). But Wallace's response to Cain's suggestion, as subtle as it might have been to some people, was nothing short of a jaw-dropping example of obliviously back-handed, racial stereotyping by a rich, white, elitist, beltway moron.
In response to Cain's suggestion that the President's intro music needed a "fresher sound".... Wallace hazarded a guess as to what that might entail.... "So..... uh... Hip-Hop?" Well of course, Chris!.... What other kind of music would a 66 year old black man want to incorporate into "Hail to the Chief".... Country & Western?
I'm not suggesting that Chris Wallace is a closet racist.... merely that he is a disconnected, elitist drone who, when curious about what kind of music Cain might have in mind, automatically shifted into a racial frame of reference and grasped upon the most obvious black musical stereotype.
So much for the question, "is Chris Wallace a racist?" ...... No, just a moron,
But Cain's response to Wallace's oblivious racial stereotyping was to be equally oblivious to the racial connotations of his response. I half expected Cain to drop his head and give Wallace a dead-pan stare over the top of his glasses and, after a long pause, say something like... "Now Chris, come on. What kind of a response is that?... Just because I'm a black man, I'm going to incorporate hip-hop music?"
But.... no such luck. Instead, Cain seems eager to reassure Wallace that he's not that kind of black guy and adamantly insists, almost before Wallace is done asking the question, "It won't be Hip-Hop." Cain then suggests that he would lean more towards a "Gospel" sound, which, perhaps ironically, is another genre of music typically associated with black culture in America.
I just find it intriguing (but not necessarily significant) that the same Herman Cain who has no qualms about making the racially-charged (and completely unfounded) assertion that "two-thirds of blacks have been brainwashed into supporting the Democrat Party" (something which has caused him to be viewed as an "Uncle Tom" in some people's opinions)... also seems to have no problem "shining on" the subtle racial stereotyping proffered by a major network television news anchor.
It certainly can't be said that he is simply taking a "colorblind" approach to his campaign and avoiding race, as an issue, altogether.... he has been very vocal about racial issues. And it could certainly be argued that, in matters of racial issues, he tends to be fairly critical of black culture... while conversely being fairly tolerant of the stereotypes and criticisms leveled by white conservatives at black culture. So it really can't be too surprising that many people have chosen to respond to being stereotyped, by accusing Cain of being another kind of black stereotype... the "Uncle Tom."
The contemporary characterization of the "Uncle Tom" stereotype is one of a black person who panders to white culture and even joins in their dismissive attitudes towards blacks, in order to ingratiate themselves to white society and enjoy the benefits of white approval. In antebellum times, and before the introduction of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin", the derogatory term used by black slaves for this stereotype was "house *****".... meant to denote a slave that had acquired (usually by being extra-willing to please) the easy work of a maid, butler or servant within the household, as opposed to the hard labor performed in the fields.
Now.... the second question: Is Herman Cain an "Uncle Tom"?
My only honest answer is.... I don't think you can answer the implications of one stereotype with another, and hope to come to a meaningful conclusion. While most stereotypes are certainly founded in some sort of truth... they are almost always promulgated and nurtured by ignorance and applied with indifference to the truth. I do think it's fairly difficult for black people to succeed in the white-dominated corporate culture, without at some point having to overcome or ignore racial stereotypes about blacks.... Just an opinion.
So, while I have many separate issues with Herman Cain's ideologies.... whether he is an "Uncle Tom" or not, is not one of them. The black voting population will decide what they think of Herman Cain's remarks and whether or not they support him.... as will everyone else.
There remains no doubt in my mind however, that Chris Wallace is a moron.
Tags: Herman Cain, Chris Wallace, racial stereotypes, Uncle Tom?
Location: United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
Views: 4700 | Comments: 37 | Votes: 3 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
|Liveleak on Facebook|