As the attacks on Herman Cain mount, more and more people are questioning — or openly stating — that Cain’s race is a factor driving the attacks. Cain himself has said he believes it might be part of it, and has alluded to other incidents (most memorably the Clarence Thomas hearings) where a conservative black man was brutalized by the left and the media (but I repeat myself).
Personally, I don’t think it’s that big a factor. Oh, sure, there’s the standard liberal contempt and indignation whenever a minority wanders off the liberal plantation and gets uppity enough to start thinking for themselves — witness the attitudes of the feminist movement towards such politically successful women as Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, for example. But I really don’t think it’s really significant.
But you know what? I don’t care.
For three years, give or take, we Obama critics have been lambasted as “RAAAAACISTS” and the like for our opposition. We cite policies we don’t agree with, actions we don’t like, positions and statements we find offensive, and are dismissed as finding excuses for hating Obama for the color of his skin. It’s the first response of most Obama defenders — and, in many cases, the only response.
So that’s the standard set: attacks on a black politician (especially at the presidential level) is racism until it is proven otherwise. I don’t agree with it, but I’ve been held to it anyway.
So now the shoe’s on the other foot. Let those who shouted “RAAAAACIST!” now live by the standard they established. Before we discuss criticism of Cain, first the critics have to prove — to our satisfaction — that they are not acting simply on racism. That they have issues with Cain that go beyond his race. Then — and only then — will we discuss the substance (if there is any) of their comments.
And if anyone has a problem with that… well, then, wouldn’t that mean that there is a double standard at play?