Some years back, before the internet beat every dead horse into a mudhole, a New York professor, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, stirred controversy by asserting that black people cannot, by virtue of empowerment balance, be racist. And while one can construct the argument in a way that it makes abstract sense, it’s kind of hard to translate that abstraction into practice. When a racist, or any sort of bigot gets in your face, it really doesn’t matter what color their skin is.
However, Herman Cain is working hard to demolish Jeffries’ assertion.
One would think that’s an easy job, since maybe twelve people in the whole country ever agreed with Jeffries. But Cain is putting some serious effort into it.
In 2010, he argued that Republicans should vote for him because he’s black, in order to take the race card off the table. No, really, he did. Of course, he said it to World Net Daily, so it’s a safe bet none of the faithful readers and supporters of the site noticed the contradiction.
And while religious bigotry isn’t racism, well, I still can’t see how the first paragraph of Tim Murphy‘s article for Mother Jones, covering Cain’s latest episode of outrageous bigotry, could possibly help make Mr. Jeffries’ point. Empowerment issues aside—
GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain has an Islam problem. The former Godfather’s pizza godfather put his foot in his mouth early in his campaign when he told Think Progress he wouldn’t appoint any Muslims in his administration (which would be unconstitutional), and again when he said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) wasn’t loyal to the Constitution because he’s Muslim, and again when he said he has never encountered an American Muslim who is loyal to the Constitution, and then again when he denied ever saying any of those things and blamed the media.
—that’s just not a paragraph anyone should ever want to read about himself.
The thought that there is actually more to add to the exhibit of Cain’s bigotry falls somewhere in a strange triangle of scary, unbelievable, and downright silly. But as Murphy, among others in the press, report, while Herman Cain wants to take the oath of office, to swear to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States really doesn’t seem to like it.
At the center of the controversy is the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, a local mosque that has been trying to expand its facilities. Opponents have alleged that the the mosque is secretly waging a (very, very) stealth jihad against the people of Middle Tennessee. The construction site has been subjected to arson, and the project itself was challenged in court by opponents who argued that Islam is not a religion and therefore is not entitled to First Amendment protections (The Justice Department said otherwise). Cain, evidently, agrees with the Murfreesboro anti-mosque activists:
Cain didn’t bring up the controversial facility in a campaign rally on Thursday, but told reporters afterward that he’s concerned about the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.
“It is an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion,” he said. “And I don’t agree with what’s happening, because this isn’t an innocent mosque.”
One wonders if he’ll even make it to New Hampshire.