Here’s a radical notion, Mr. Cain: Your party did the brainwashing. Republicans once had a considerable advantage with blacks, thanks to their forebears’ ending of slavery, and the Democrat’s institutional racism. Unfortunately, they wasted it, looking to score votes from scared whites.

I’ve been hearing the Welfare Queen and Bell Curve idiocy all my life, the implications of deserved poverty for people whose parents and grandparents spent much of their lives forcefully stuck in poverty by racist policies. When America had budget crises, guess whose services got cut first, who got portrayed as lucky-duckies, layabouts, crooks and thugs?

Ah, but this is what I hear from Herman Cain:

“African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view,” Godfather’s Pizza executive Herman Cain said on CNN’s “The Situation Room” in an interview airing Wednesday between 5-7 p.m. ET. “I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple.”

Brainwashed. Golly, is that a charming thing to be told. You know what? You’re a hypnotized dupe who has diminished capacity for reason. Please vote for me!

While it’s true people can be convinced to support a politics that works against them, there are more positive ways to relay this argument. Positive ways, though, it’s unlikely the Republicans will avail themselves of. Their leadership have gotten themselves too convinced that to hold back in the name of not offending people is just being politically correct. Well, I’m sorry, but while you are entitled to free speech, you’re not entitled to agreement, sympathy, or positive feelings about your message.

And really, if you actually want African American Voters, then you have to convince them to join your cause of their own free will.

African Americans have been confronted with a great deal of negativity from the right, but the right naively complains that people should be open-minded about them. Just like they complain that Hispanics should be open-minded about the people demonizing folks just like them, pushing English as an official language, and having folks who even resemble illegal aliens pressured by police to prove their identifies as resident, legal aliens and immigrants.

Dividing middle class whites against other groups of people, pushing Willy Horton ads, and ads with White Women telling the half-black candidate to call them, has long been a specialty of the Right, and they’ll be the last people many times to apologize for pushing such messages.

But somehow, these people think that it’s not going to rebound on them. Well, it is. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean it in a racist way, you’re talking about people in ways its not likely they’re going to enjoy, and when you’re done, they’re going to get a little angry with you. Do that long enough, and you’ll have successfully brainwashed people into not liking you.

If you want people’s respect, stop feeding them your contempt.


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