There is a huge to-do on the 'Net these days that had its genesis in Herman Cain's speech at a recent Conservative conclave. A blogger with some notoriety took offense, quite reasonably, at his conservative posturing and his condescending attitude towards his fellow American Blacks. The blogger pulled no punches, comparing Cain's antics to Minstrel shows and calling him "the monkey in the window." This resulted in a real "tempest in a tea-spoon," with Conservatives accusing the blogger of racism, using some disagreeable terms themselves.
To be Black. Maybe I don't know so much about it, as my friend Terry explained to me back in the day, holding me by my coat and dangling me off the ground. But I know that it must be a terrible thing for a Black American to be considered insufficiently Black by other Black Americans. Who are the real Blacks?
President Obama, for instance. Is he really Black? Is he Black enough? He has a White mom, and his dad was born in Africa. What does he know of our home-grown Black experience? All of that negativity, all of that shared hardship?
Well, he sure wasn't White enough for the White people, and he still isn't. If he isn't Black enough for the Black people, where does that leave him? I'll tell you where: Black. All of his life, he has been perceived as Black, treated as Black. He's paid those dues like anyone else in his situation, his situation in the mirror.
I agree with the blogger in every material way. Mr. Cain, and his Black Conservative cohorts, are a stain on Black America, having sold their souls to a movement that uses them for political capitol while not so secretly finding them deficient based on the color of their skin. For fame, or money, they kowtow to the Conservative powers that be.
These are the "Queen Bees" that I learned about in Sociology class. Sure, I'm Black, but I'm somehow better than those other Blacks. I'm a bee, sure, but I'm a Queen Bee. It's a schande. They reject their own Blackness. Maybe their question to their Conservative buddies is: am I White enough for you?
Want to see some reasonable discussion of the reality of the modern American Black experience? Check out the blogger at "We Are Respectable Negroes." What do I know? But I know that these are important issues, and I know that our current leaders are allowing the issue to fester in a swamp of misplaced emphases.