When the first sexual harassment accusations against Herman Cain emerged, there was some quiet discussion of whether the women were “white, black, Puerto Rican, everybody just a freakin'” (oh, sorry, I’m listening to Prince’s “Uptown” as I write this). Cain had maintained solid popularity among Tea Party conservatives and this was a potential acid test. Would his more conservative followers still support him if he’d violated a centuries-old taboo?
Then Sharon Bialek came forward and put a very visible blonde face to the matter. This was in a weird way a watershed moment: If Bialek had accused Cain of similar acts back during the early ’60s when he was busy watching “Dobie Gillis” rather than actually participating in the Civil Rights Movement, it could have cost him his life in a very literal, decidely non-high-tech lynching. There’d be no question of his accuser’s background, as Bialek experienced today. However, thanks to healthy does of liberal activism from the likes of people Cain’s strongest supporters mostly detest (Martin Luther King, Jr, Thurgood Marshall, and so on), Cain was spared The Scottsboro Boys treatment and was free to paint Bialek as a broke-ass tool of the liberal elite, which I guess is also sort of The Scottsboro Boys treatment. Oh well, the score now stands at Black Conservative Men (I’m including Clarence Thomas in this calculation): 2, Women: 0. I can see one, lone tear running down Gloria Steinem’s cheek.
Yesterday, Ginger White (an almost Faulkneran name — kind of like Goodhue Coldfield) sought to shock the Black Conservatives at home and prevent a threepeat. She stated that she’d been involved in a 13-year-long affair with Cain, which did not simply involve meeting to play checkers in his hotel room.
She says… he would fly her to cities where he was speaking and he lavished her with gifts. She says they often stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead and dined at The Four Seasons restaurant. She says he never harassed her, never treated her poorly, and was the same man you see on the campaign trail.
This is also somewhat impressive if true: Cain openly courting a white businesswoman in the ritzier sections of Atlanta. That’s a far different Atlanta than the one I remember growing up during the 1980s, but perhaps my memory is a tad exaggerated.
Wait, though, this is assuming White is actually, you know… white. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but while we’re all here talking, her complexion is sort of similar to an aunt of mine. She’s got the Halle Berry haircut from 2003. All I’m saying is that a convincing case could be made.
Obviously, it doesn’t matter. Michael Jackson settled this issue definitively in 1991 — if you’re non-threatening and well-connected enough, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white.