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Roger L. Simon

Disband the Congressional Black Caucus

September 26th, 2011 - 8:53 pm

How right he was. Too bad the failure of the Obama presidency has prompted the great actor to think otherwise. If there were one thing I could tell all black people, it would be not to take Obama’s failure personally. It is failure of ideas, not remotely of race.

Yes, I understand these things happen. I cringed when Bernard Madoff, a fellow Jew, was accused and then convicted of heinous crimes. But I shouldn’t have. And Obama — no criminal — is light years from Madoff.

The time has come to get beyond such identifications. Not only are they specious, they reinforce stereotypes that too often become self-fulfilling prophecies. They define us in ways we cannot even understand, let alone easily escape from. They warp our unconscious.

In that way, affirmative action may have hurt more people than it helped, lowering that most crucial of all “liberal” pieties, self-esteem. In any case, like the Black Caucus itself, it is outdated now.

No wonder this group is so angry. Herman Cain has shown up their tired ideologies, not to mention Rep. Allen West, who accused some of their leaders of being modern day plantation overseers. Now Dennis Miller has jumped in with an endorsement of Cain and a campaign slogan: “Cain Versus Not Able.”

Cain himself was on Greta tonight, arguing that his candidacy was post-racial. America had already had its first black president.

Well, not quite. Nothing is that perfect. More precisely, Cain’s candidacy is a reminder to always be post-racial, because that’s what we should be.

And that, my friends on the Black Caucus, is the message. Stop being nostalgic for racism. You can take it from this ex-civil rights worker. Get over yourselves and disband. That will be a real contribution to civil rights.

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