NPR versus 'minstrel' Cain
By L. Brent Bozell Iii
Published: Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011,
National Public Radio proved a long time ago that it disdains black conservatives. NPR doesn't even like black liberals who appear on Fox News: They canned Juan Williams. The sexual harassment charges against Herman Cain aren't ruining him as quickly as the media hoped, so on Nov. 11, NPR viciously attacked Cain for being an enemy of blacks and a "minstrel" to white conservatives.
Reporter Karen Grigsby Bates began with Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy. "Black people know that if Herman Cain had his way, their lives would be diminished," he said. "And they intuit that Herman Cain's policies are against their interests."
Who is this man to judge like that• NPR made no attempt to identify Professor Kennedy as having served on the editorial board of the hard-left Nation magazine. They didn't even call him "liberal."
Kennedy somehow gets to speak on behalf of all black Americans everywhere that if Cain "had his way," he would want blacks to be diminished. This is really rich drivel coming from the Left. They are the ones who placed blacks in dangerous public housing, high-rises in high-crime neighborhoods in the "War on Poverty." They are responsible for subjecting black children to atrocious public schools with no chance of escaping to a private school that cared about them.
NPR then turned to Jack E. White, a former screed-writer for Time magazine. NPR's Bates said White was outraged that Cain, like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, would call unproven sexual harassment charges a "high-tech lynching."
"Basically, Herman Cain tells them what they want to hear about blacks and, in turn, they embrace him and say, 'See, that proves we aren't racist,"' said White. Then he stuck in the knife: "He's even willing to be a minstrel for them, referring to himself sometimes as 'cornbread' ... ."
In White's mind, we are forever stuck in 1963, and every white conservative is somehow a Southern Democrat racist Bull Connor.
The third black Cain critic was a professor named Vincent Hutchings, who said Cain was "crazy," but "crazy like a fox."
There were no black conservative professors allowed -- not Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams. NPR doesn't want blacks to consider it conceivable that a black could choose to be a conservative and still be considered respectable.
The only conservative view allowed was a clip of Ann Coulter. (NPR somehow couldn't acquire an original interview.) Coulter said on Fox that black conservatives have to swim against a very strong tide of black opinion, so "our blacks are so much better than their blacks."
To which "objective" Bates replied: "Observations like that may be why their blacks are so few in number." Bates clearly believes (as her report demonstrates) that black conservatives are metaphorically owned by masters and simply cannot fathom why blacks would want to be released from the liberal plantation.
It's quite clear from all the media coverage that the liberal media don't want Herman Cain even standing on the debate stage. It ruins their preferred caricature of the Republicans as an all-white country club that sees blacks as the people who hand them towels in the restroom.
If they can't push Cain off the stage, then they'll try to smear him into a cartoon minstrel. As so often happens in liberal media circles, accuracy takes a back seat to victory.
Ask yourself: Would this vitriol against Cain exist if he were white?
L. Brent Bozell III is president of the Media Research Center.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.