By Paul R. Hollrah, Guest Blogger
I remember it well. I remember the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision of May 1954. I remember Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott. And I remember Martin Luther King Jr., his non-violent protests, his Aug. 28, 1963, march on Washington, and his famous “I have a dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
I remember exactly what I was thinking back then. It was during those years that I published a newsletter for the Tulsa County (Okla.) Young Republicans. I remember an article I wrote in which I discussed the choices that black people… mostly black mothers who were left to raise their children in single family homes… would have to make. I remember thinking and writing that, finally, the door of opportunity was open for all of our citizens, and that so long as black mothers were wise enough to lead their children in the way they should go, there was nothing to prevent them from realizing the American Dream.
I remember thinking that, if black mothers got their children out of bed each morning and got them to school on time; if black children were taught to behave themselves in school, to respect their teachers, and to do their homework; and if, when they finished school and entered the work force, they had the self-discipline to go to work every day and to give their employers at least eight hours of their best effort in exchange for eight hours pay, nothing could hold them back.
It was simple arithmetic: if black people were given the opportunity to educate themselves and to have access to good-paying jobs, they could produce at the same level as whites. And if they produced at the same level as whites they would also consume at the same level as whites. In spite of what Democrats and labor leaders insisted, it was not a zero-sum game.
But that’s not what happened. For whatever reason, black children have not taken full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. In almost every national study, they lag well behind white and Asian students in reading, mathematics, and the sciences. And to the extent that education correlates directly with economic success, it is easy to see why unemployment and underemployment among blacks is now more than twice that in the white community.
With the growth of social welfare programs in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, it was to be expected that those who are always on the lookout for a free lunch would find it easier to take advantage of the system than to work hard and pay their own way. Conversely, it was not unexpected that taxpayers would soon develop a hostility toward the payment of benefits to able-bodied men and women. In response, Democrats rewrote the rules governing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), prohibiting the payment of benefits to families with an able-bodied male living in the household. And when fathers were forced out of their homes, more and more black children grew up without the benefit of a male role model in their lives.
Short of human slavery, violent racial cleansing, and systematic racial oppression, all of which Democrats actively supported from the day their party was founded, it would be difficult to imagine a crueler, more devastating attack on a racial or ethnic minority.
Instead of doing whatever was necessary to bring blacks into the economic mainstream, the same Democrats who had populated the KKK and enforced the Jim Crow laws and the Black Codes, decided that if they could buy the black vote with taxpayer dollars… and yes, “brainwash” them into believing that the Democratic Party was their friend and their savior… they could continue to oppress black people just as if the civil rights movement had never happened.
In a recent article, “Educational mediocrity hurts blacks,” writer Ray Wallace reminds us that “Statistics for black unemployment have risen to 16.2 percent, with teen numbers as frightening as 40 percent. If true, this means that one out of every four black people in America now exists below the poverty line.”
All of this is occurring at a time in history when, for the first time, black Americans are seeing a graphic demonstration of what happens when a young black man follows the Republican formula for success, and what happens when a young black man follows the leftist Democratic model.
On the Republican side, we have a black man named Herman Cain whose parents taught him the only true way to economic success in America. Although born in poverty, he went to school every day, he did his homework, he earned an undergraduate college degree in mathematics and a masters degree in computer science, he served the U.S. Navy as a systems analyst, he climbed the corporate ladder at Coca-Cola, Pillsbury, Burger King, and Godfather’s Pizza (where he served as CEO), and he served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Without rancor, without bitterness, without victimhood, and without a reliance on affirmative action, Herman Cain pursued the American Dream. He is the personification of the American success story and he is now a frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
This is in stark contrast to Barack Obama who was taught nothing but leftist ideology. He is a bitter and hate-filled man who has never held a real job, who has never had to meet a payroll, who has no idea how the free market economy works or how to create private sector jobs, who has not so much as run a sidewalk lemonade stand, and who was elected to the Oval Office by Democrats in spite of the fact that he lacks the constitutional qualifications for the presidency.
Because they allowed themselves to be corrupted by dreams of the free lunch, and because they allowed themselves to be led by professional blacks and welfare pimps whose only qualification for leadership was the color of their skin, the life experience of the vast majority of black citizens alive today is vastly different from that of Herman Cain.
Two of those black leaders, Tavis Smiley and Cornell West, have just completed what they call a “poverty tour.” It is not necessary to view their documentary to know what they will say. In a brief appearance on Fox News on Sunday, Oct. 9, Smiley and West both insisted that, while American taxpayers have spent some $15 trillion on social welfare programs since the beginning of the War on Poverty… a “war” that the U.S. has apparently lost… the primary reason that one in four blacks still live under the poverty line is because “we haven’t spent enough.”
Like Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Smiley and West are “professional blacks” whose careers depend on keeping minorities dependent on government handouts. They appear not to understand that $15 trillion, spread equally among 40 million black people, averages $375,000 per person. We could just as easily have given every family of four a check for $1.5 million. At least we would not now be saddled with millions of unionized government employees who have been hired to dole out the public largesse.
Smiley and West were also highly indignant over Cain’s suggestion that black voters have been systematically “brainwashed” by Democrats. They seem to suggest that, while the Chinese and the North Koreans were successful in brainwashing American POWs in a matter of weeks during the Korean War, black Americans have been immune to Democratic propagandists for more than half a century. In the past, such race-baiters may have been successful in getting a conservative black man to retreat from that statement, but Cain refuses to be intimidated. He knows what all reasonable people know, which is that, without unwavering support from the black community, Democrats would be unable to elect majorities in either house of Congress.
How important is the “brainwashed” vote to the Democratic Party? An analysis of the 2006, 2008, and 2010 elections shows that, if blacks voted in roughly the same percentages as the rest of the population… 52-48% or 53-47% Democrats over Republicans, or vice versa… the balance of power in the U.S. Senate would now be 59 Republicans, 39 Democrats, and 2 Independents. With the all but certain pickup of two or more Democratic seats in 2012, Republicans would be anticipating a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate beginning in January 2013. That is how important the black vote is to the Democratic Party.
So what’s next for Herman Cain? The things that he has said and the example he has set tells us just one thing: Herman Cain must be destroyed. Liberals and Democrats simply cannot afford to have millions of young black people exposed to Cain’s success story because it is a complete contradiction of everything they have taught blacks, from childhood, for many generations.
If a man of Cain’s caliber can convince blacks, by example, that Democrats have been “using” them for more than 50 years, he can lead as many as half of the black population back to the Republican Party… their natural and traditional home… and the Democratic Party will cease to exist. That, in a nutshell, is what is at stake in Herman Cain’s quest for the presidency.
Harry Belafonte, Tavis Smiley and Cornell West are but the vanguard of the quest to destroy Herman Cain. As Cain continues to gain support among white Republicans, the army of attack dogs will multiply exponentially and the attacks will become even sharper and more vicious. But what liberals and Democrats apparently fail to understand is that, the more they attack this fine man, the more black voters will be attracted to him. It is a zero-sum game they cannot win.
Paul R. Hollrah
Hollrah is a senior fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a contributing editor for Family Security Matters and a number of online publications. He resides in northeast Oklahoma.
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