Herman Cain’s death frustrates me.
Here was this self made black man, who spent his entire political life, trying to convince other black folks that their black American dream can become a reality if you work hard enough. That frustrated me too, because I affirm he knew better. I thought that he always knew better.
And even though he knew better, he attempted to become a living testament that hard work and entrepreneurship would allow you to achieve that American dream, even if you are black. His outlook on this American dream was naive.
Yet, it was his.
For someone to be that intelligent, yet that naive, never sat well with me. It never sits well with me when intelligent black folks don’t take into account how race greatly hinders upward mobility in this country, even if THEY are lucky enough to withstand those racial obstacles and obtain some semblance of financial success.
And it didn’t sit well with me when a group of black folks, including Herman Cain, journeyed to a Trump rally and assembled in a closed space in Tulsa, Oklahoma during the height of a deadly pandemic, to show their support for a man who not only doesn’t take into account how race hinders other people, but openly and outwardly contributes and profits from these racial blockades.
Herman knew better.
And yet, the very same white american dream he trusted for so many years did the same thing white america and their “dreams” do to so many other black folks. His trust was betrayed, and that betrayal cost him his life. He trusted the same white american dream he depended on for so many years would protect him. It didn’t. It was never meant to protect folks like him. He was meant to be a tool, a puppet, for white america to use as an example.
A false example, at that.
Herman, you knew better, brother.
Leslie McLemore writes about a lot of different shit for Black With No Chaser. He is also the Takeaway Kang and is the father of two beautiful girls, one of which gets on every nerve he has. The other one is sweet. So, you know, balance.
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