The Afro-American, February 26, 2011 - February 26, 2011
By AFRO Sta
Herman Cain, the rst Tea Party-backed candidate to take the initialsteps toward a 2012 presidentialrun, is already making waves.In a Feb. 11 speech at theConservative Political ActionConference (CPAC), Cain, anAfrican American, rufed featherswith his thoughts on why hedisagrees with the direction of America.“The objective of liberals isto destroy this country,” Cainsaid in his speech. “The objectiveof liberals is to make Americamediocre like everybody else whoaspires to be like America.”Cain, the former chairmanand CEO of Godfather Pizza, isan Atlanta-based radio talk showhost who formed an exploratorycommittee last month to weigh a2012 presidential bid.An Atlanta native who holdsdegrees in mathematics fromMorehouse College and incomputer science from PurdueUniversity, Cain rose through theranks rst with the Coca-ColaCo. and later as an executivewith Burger King and its parentcompany Pillsbury in the late 1970sand early 1980s.According to a companyhistory, Pillsbury appointedCain as president of Godfather’sPizza, then a subsidiary of thefood conglomerate, in 1986. Buttwo years later, citing weakeningprots, Pillsbury encouraged Cainand a group of senior managersto buy out Godfather’s and run itindependently.After turning around thatcompany, Cain left to becomepresident of the National RestaurantAssociation in 1994, accordingto his presidential exploratorycommittee website, during whichtime he began a political career asa lobbyist and speaker for the foodindustry.He challengedthen-PresidentClinton on thepresident’s healthcare reform proposalin 1994, and laterran unsuccessfullyfor U.S. Senate inGeorgia, nishingsecond in theRepublican primary to the eventualvictor of the seat, Johnny Isakson.More recently, he took the nationalstage last year to defend againstclaims that the Tea Party Movementincorporated racist elements,according to Yahoo! News.At CPAC, Cain detailed thetactics he believes liberals use togain a political advantage.“[Liberals] only have threetactics: S.I.N.,” Cain said. “Theyshift the subject, they ignore factsand they name-call.”His speech immediately drewsharp criticism from AlterNet, aprogressive blog. The blog postwent past Cain’s politics and, in acommentary by Black progressiveactivist Chauncy DeVega, broughtrace into the discussion.“Instead, Herman Cain’s shtickis a version of race minstrelsywhere he performs ‘authenticnegritude’ as wish fulllment forWhite Conservative fantasies,” theposting said. “Like the fountain atLourdes, Cain in his designatedrole as Black Conservativemascot, absolves the White racialreactionaries at CPAC of their sins.“This is a rened performancethat Black Conservatives haveperfected over many decades andcenturies of practice,” it continued.That response garnered nationalattention for Cain, as many havecome to his defense. Journalistand commentator Juan Williams,appearing on Sean Hannity’s self-titled show on Fox News, said thecomment was “Black-on-Black”crime.“It is just so insulting,” Williamssaid. “It’s essentially a Black-on-Black drive-by shooting in mymind. It just blows your mind.It’s the start of the 21st century.He accuses Herman Cain of beinga minstrel for giving a speech atCPAC. Now, if nobody spoke whowas Black at CPAC, then you’d say,oh CPAC is racist.”Cain is also a cancer survivor;he was diagnosed with Stage IVcancer in both his liver and colonin 2006, but underwent surgery andchemotherapy and has said he isnow cancer-free.Cain has temporarily left hisradio talk show as he considers apossible presidential campaign,according to
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He plans on makingmore appearances at tea partyevents.
By Maggie Clark
Capital News Service
ANNAPOLIS - Debate onthe Religious Freedom andCivil Marriage ProtectionAct, which would give fullmarriage rights to same-sexcouples in Maryland, beganFeb. 23 on the Senate oor.Debate is expected to lastseveral days and featurea number of contentiousamendments.A nal vote is expectedeither Friday or possibly overthe weekend.The act would redenemarriage from “between aman and woman” to “betweentwo individuals” and protectchurches from performingsame-sex unions if the practiceviolates their religious beliefs.The bill has 18 sponsors inthe Senate and 24 senators,including Republican AllanKittleman of Howard County,have pledged to vote in favor.Sen. Jamie Raskin,D-Montgomery, who isleading the debate in supportof the bill, said Feb. 22 thathe expects opponents topropose amendments allowingbusinesses like hotels, motels,and restaurants to denyservices to gay couples. Healso expects an amendmentexempting judges and clerkswho object to gay marriagesfrom having to issue licensesto gay couples.Senate President ThomasV. “Mike” Miller Jr. will leteveryone have their chanceto debate the amendmentsto the bill Wednesday, butexpects the debate to be keptcivil. “We’re going to expectgentlemen-like and lady-likebehavior while debating theseamendments so we can getthrough as much of the bill aspossible,” Miller said during aSenate session.Senate Minority LeaderNancy Jacobs, R-Harford,said she hadn’t seen the nalversions of the proposedamendments, but she expectsWednesday’s debate to lastinto the evening. “I expectthere will be six or sevenamendments offered tomorrowafter the committee report isaccepted ... We’ll ask all ourquestions to the oor leaderand get a lot of our debate outof the way, which will promptsome of the amendments thatwe’re offering. We’ll break forcommittee hearings and thencome back and continue thedebate into the evening,” saidJacobs.The House JudiciaryCommittee is expected tobegin debate on the issueFriday. Gov. Martin O’Malleyhas said he would signmarriage equality legislation.If passed, Maryland wouldjoin ve other states andthe District of Columbia inallowing same-sex marriage.Maryland currently recognizessame-sex marriages fromother states. Opponentshave already said they willattempt to bring the issue to areferendum next year.Even though the subjectis contentious, Raskinanticipates this week’s debatewill stay civil. “I don’t sensethat there’s anyone that reallywants to demagogue the issue.I don’t think anyone is reallyinterested in dragging it out... I think every member of the Senate has made up theirminds. So people know wherethey are and the debate willbe an opportunity for us toidentify the contours of thelegislation,” Raskin said. “I’mhoping it will be an upliftingexperience for people. It isa chance to make history forequal rights.”
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