In the late 1940s — when the Democrat party began shifting from denying equal rights to southern blacks to championing them — race became a central tenet of American politics. Although the Democrat party fought for slavery during the Civil War, formed the KKK during reconstruction, and used Jim Crow laws to keep blacks from enjoying their rights well into the 20th century, blacks seemed more than willing to look the other way in exchange for a few social programs that promised to bring them the equality they so sorely desired.
Eventually, these social promises (cemented in wealth redistribution programs like the “war on poverty” and racial quotas like affirmative action) came to define the Democrat’s relationship with black voters. Over time the focus on race became so integral to everything the Democrats did that blacks began to define themselves not as black Americans but as “African-Americans” (and soon “Mexican-Americans,” “Italian-Americans,” and every other conceivable people group followed suit). In effect, the language of race became paramount over all other language, and allegiance to race over all other allegiances.
We were reminded of these things in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected in part due to the color of his skin (and the promise of America’s first “African-American President” and a fulfillment of Martin Luther King Jr’s dream). Now just look what this focus on race got us: an inexperienced president whose solution for the ailing economy was to raise taxes, take over healthcare, nationalize certain automobile manufacturers, and regulate the financial sector to death (literally). And this is what makes Herman Cain’s announcement that he’s a black American rather than an African-American so refreshing: he’s turning back the dial on this race-above-all-else bunk.
Cain Said: “I do not try to use race to my advantage. I don’t even bring it up unless somebody asks me about it, and I have said repeatedly [that] this is not about color. This is about the content of your ideas, and your character.” Talk about the fulfillment of MLK’s dream! MLK said he dreamt of a day when people would not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character — which is exactly what Cain’s saying. And it’s 180 degrees from what Obama and the Democrat party are saying.
The Democrats need victims in order to remain in power. They don’t need black Americans who are looking for ways to be self-sufficient. Rather, they need African-Americans who aren’t worried about accepting the proceeds of wealth redistribution as a faux plan for equality. Cain is the antithesis of this mindset. He is an American, who happens to be black, and who understands that the American dream is available to anyone who works for it — regardless of the color of their skin.
No matter what happens as the Republican primary process plays out, Cain has used this moment to remind us that being an American is more important than being a member of any given racial category. And for that, he should be applauded.