Friday, September 30, 2011

Raising [Herman] Cain...

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain caused a firestorm of controversy by revealing in a CNN interview this week that Black Americans have been "brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view." This has been such a closely-guarded secret among us that it occasioned an emergency meeting--the third one in the last three years (the others were called when we realized that Obama actually did stand a chance of winning the presidential nomination, and when rumors arose that a sequel to Soul Plane was in the works). Black people gathered at clandestine meeting houses all over the nation last night in an attempt to hash out a response.

My location--an abandoned Popeye's Chicken franchise--was in an uproar when I arrived. Paramedics were attending to several women who had become so irate that their necks locked. Arguments raged from one end of the room to the other. Things got so out-of-hand that the Head Negro In Charge (HNIC) for our district--a formidable woman in a Chanel suit--had to put Aretha on the loudspeakers (Aretha's version of Respect has been the real Negro National Anthem since its release; people still who think the anthem is Lift Every Voice didn't get The Memo).

"Quiet down now! Everybody find a seat! We got to get this over with before anybody realizes we're here," roared the HNIC.

The restless crowd came to some semblance of order.

"What do we do now?" wailed Sam The Barber. "It was all anyone could talk about at the shop yesterday!"

"They're onto us!" shouted Willy The Pimp.

"What should we do?!"

Disorder threatened to overtake us again until the HNIC fired a round into the ceiling with her Glock.

"Y'all shut the hell up! We got this! Now, let's hear a few words from Brother Jones! Go 'head and talk, Daddy!"

Brother Jones, the elder of our group, stood up. The kindly old gentleman--shaking a bit from palsy, and still in his pajamas and robe--faced the group.

"Thank you, Brenda. Gather the little ones around," he said. "They need to hear this and remember it."

Baby-mommas and baby-grannies and baby-great-grannies guided their little charges to the front of the room where they sat at Brother Jones's feet. Each held a sippy-cup filled with red Kool-Aid laced with a spoonful of Ny-Quil.

I detected the glint of a tear in the brother's eye as he regarded the little angels.

"We done had quite a run, children. Quite a run... but it's over now... It's time for the next step. We got to move on."

"Praise the Lord," said Miz Wells, the principal of the local elementary school. High Pockets was so affected that he set down his forty-ounce bottle of malt liquor, took off his watch cap, and sat forward in his chair.

"We done heeded the siren song of them Roosevelts long enough," shouted Brother Jones.

"All this marchin' and complainin' and carryin' on... All this civil rights and votin' rights mess... All that talk about 'Eyes On The Prize'... We been wrong, people! We done let Fannie Lou Hamer and Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers and them convince us to trade one set of shackles for another! We been hoodwinked! We been misled! We been bamboozled!"

Several attendees shouted "Amen."

"What did we brave them dogs and them hoses for? What was the point? The conservatives were trying to show us the error of our ways, but did we listen?"


Brother Jones seemed to stand a little taller as he warmed to his subject.

"After all that, what are we?! Where are we? What do we have?! What have we become?"

Brother Jones thrust his cane at the assembly.

"Liberals! That's what! Nothin' but dirty, stinkin', low-down, no-good, bleedin' heart, welfare-takin', crack-smokin', sex-crazed, Obama-votin', food stamp dependent, mutton-headed liberals!"

Hearing that many of us that quiet at that moment was an almost religious experience. We knew in our hearts that the brother spoke the truth.

"It's time we got with the program, y'all! A people that doesn't adapt perishes! The hardest shackles to throw off are the ones you put on yourself!"

The congregation erupted in cheers and assent.

"Preach it, brother!"

"Tell us what we need to do!"

"Lead us!"

Brenda, the HNIC, gestured to the sergeant-at-arms. The doors opened and a team of white people in lab coats began bringing in equipment. A widescreen television set was wheeled to the front of the disused chicken shack. Every mouth gaped--including mine--as proctors passed 3-D glasses out to everyone. I put mine on.

A professorial, silver-haired white man took the podium.

"Please put your glasses on and watch the screen," he instructed. We obeyed as one. In a scene repeated throughout the country, the lights dimmed, the television set flickered on, and Herman Cain's toothy grin filled the screen.

"Be not afraid... I am Herman Cain, and I am here to free your minds."

"Our asses will follow," we said as one.

"Repeat after me... Government can not create jobs!"

"Government can not create jobs!"

"Taxes and regulation are evil!"

"Taxes and regulation are evil!"

"I've got mine! Get your own!"

"I've got mine! Get your own!"

"Nobody's going to help you but you!"

"Nobody's going to help you but you!"

"Government is not the solution; it's the problem!"

"Government is not the solution..."

I was back home and in my warm bed before I knew it. I woke up refreshed and energized and I felt a power I had never experienced before that moment. I'm no longer a liberal. My mind is open because Herman Cain has opened my heart. There was a quote from Mr. Cain ringing--not just in my ears--but in my soul, as well. I had not heard it before, but it resonates even as I write this.

Mr Cain said: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we're free at last!

Obama? That Kenyan Socialist Muslim doesn't stand a chance.

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