It is time to stop giving Herman Cain’s unapologetic bigotry a free pass. The man and his poison need to be seen clearly and taken seriously.That is how he starts a column titled Stand Up to Herman Cain's Bigotry. And he is just getting going.
He rightly notes that were one bloviating in a similar fashion about Jews he would be subject to all kinds of outrage, but somehow, because the religious prejudice being offered is against Muslims, the same kind of outrage has not yet been heard.
Eugene Robinson is determined to change that. Trust me. Read him. He will make comparisons to other religions and how they could be subject to similar kinds of discrimination that Cain would impose upon Muslims.
Cain makes a false distinction between Islam and other religions, arguing that other religions are just about religion but Islam is about law, Sharia law, and that somehow justifies the discrimination and prejudice he advocates. See how Robinson takes that apart in two paragraphs:
Let’s return to the real world for a moment and see how bogus this argument is. Presumably, Cain would include Roman Catholicism among the “traditional religions” that deserve constitutional protection. It happens that our legal system recognizes divorce, but the Catholic Church does not. This, by Cain’s logic, must constitute an attempt to impose “Vatican law” on an unsuspecting nation.Let me stop for a moment. We could revisit the Catholic Church, which is opposed to same sex marriage, and which wants to impose its ban on abortion - and perhaps "artificial" methods of birth control - upon the rest of us. That is certainly a much greater threat to the liberty of Americans. We could also make those same accusations against some Evangelical and Fundamentalist Churches.
Similarly, Jewish congregations that observe kosher dietary laws must be part of a sinister plot to deprive America of its God-given bacon.
And if we look at the figures of the New Apostolic Reformation who seem to be anointing the candidacy of Rick Perry for President, they want to impose an actual theocracy upon the rest of us. But Herman Cain is silent about this. So are most of the major media.
The threat of Sharia being imposed? Robinson responds somewhat tongue in cheek:
For the record, they don’t. For the record, there is no attempt to impose sharia law; Cain is taking arms against a threat that exists only in his own imagination. It makes as much sense to worry that the Amish will force us all to commute by horse and buggy.Robinson notes that Chris Wallace tried to prod Cain on how the kind of prejudice he was evincing was similar to that offered against Blacks, only Cain was not buying it. So Robinson puts it into context, noting that similar threats were made against Blacks, because, after all,
Many of them may be all right, but some are a threat. Therefore, it’s necessary to keep all of them under scrutiny and control.I have a personal stake in this kind of bigotry. I am the descendent of immigrant Jews, who experienced prejudice and discrimination. I am by choice a Quaker, a religious group whose orientation towards non-violence is so threatening that the US Military apparently considered us a threat during the last administration. My sister's son has a black wife with two beautiful daughters who like the President are considered half white and half black. I see the kind of hatred that has been directed at him because of the color of his skin - a hatred that ignores his White mother or perhaps is intensified because it represents something feared as much as hated - and I worry what might be considered legitimate to direct at my beautiful great-nieces.
In the culture from which I derive, we would talk about th self-hating Jews, those who ignored or debased their own Jewishness in some attempt to become acceptable to those in power, those who belittled - or worse - the Jews. Some did worse - the kapos in some of the camps, without whom the Nazis might have lost control.
I wonder if Herman Cain is so alienated from his own roots that he could be described as a self-hating Negro?
I suspect that Eugene Robinson might think so, given the words he offers at the conclusion of his dismantling of Herman Cain. Remember, these words are directed AT Cain, for how he is speaking and acting:
Bull Connor and Lester Maddox would be proud.Read the whole piece.
Pass it on.
This is more evidence of why Eugene Robinson deserved his Pulitzer for Commentary.