I’d mentioned before that it wasn’t a wise (and certainly not honorable) move on Herman Cain’s part to personally attack the women who claimed he had sexually harassed them. It would have been far more presidential to just deny the allegations rather than point out how one of the accusers had an overdue library book in 1977 or the other danced too close to a boy during a Richard Marx song at the junior high spring formal.
If Ginger White’s revelation of a 13-year affair with Cain proves his undoing, he’ll have no one to blame but his own bullying and intimidation tactics.
White (said) that she was a reluctant accuser who decided to go public only after her name was circulated among reporters. But she also said she was upset by Cain’s responses to the sexual harassment allegations from two women who have been identified publicly.
“It bothered me that they were being demonized, sort of, or were being treated as if they were automatically lying and the burden of proof is on them,” White said…
“I wanted to come out and give my side before it was thrown out there and made to be something, you know, filthy, which some people will look at this and say, that’s exactly what it is…”
I’m not sure how her preemptively coming forward benefits her, but it certainly doesn’t help Cain. The Atlanta businesswoman claims their relationship began in the late 1990s when Cain met her at a National Restaurant Association presentation. That group is proving more dangerous for women than the National Rifle Association. I never even heard of it prior to these allegations against Cain, so I’m not convinced it’s not just a dummy organization Cain invented to meet women and keep his wife off the trail.
So far, Cain’s been accused of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and now an apparently consensual adulterous relationship. If true, Cain is a triple-threat of bad behavior — sort of like J. Lo but just low. Andrew Sullivan correctly points out that the media has unfortunately blurred the three — treating them all as one amorphously salacious allegation. There’s even the standard unveiling of the new accuser’s past. The following is from Fox 5 Atlanta:
Before our interview, we checked into Ginger White’s background. We found she filed a sexual harassment claim against an employer in 2001. That case was settled.
We also found a bankruptcy filing nearly 23 years ago in Kentucky, and a number of eviction notices here in DeKalb County over the past six years. The most recent happened this month.
We also found a lawsuit filed by a former business partner, Kimberly Vay, who once sought a “stalking temporary protective order” against Ms. White for “repeated e-mails/texts threatening lawsuit and defamation of character.” The case was dismissed; but was followed by a libel lawsuit against Ms. White. A judge entered an order in favor of Kimberly Vay because Ms. White failed to respond to the lawsuit.
I don’t agree with picking apart the background of women coming forward with sexual harassment claims — rather than, you know, investigating the actual merit of the claims themselves — because it seems to me to reward bad actors who pick their victims well (“Impoverished and unstable? Check and double check!”). Employers would certainly have access to such information if they wanted. It gives them the perfect alibi of “see, she’s crazy!”
It also makes no sense whatsoever in Ginger White’s case. She’s the only one of the women who is actually confessing to bad behavior. Does anyone seriously expect a squeaky clean history from a woman who knowingly engaged in a 13-year affair with a married man? “Ahh, Ms. White, so you were a nun for a few years in the ’60s. Did a lot of flying, I see.”
Now, it looks like Cain is “reassessing his campaign.” Yesterday, he claimed he was remaining in the race “as long as he has the support of his wife.” If he does wind up dropping out, this would prove an unfortunate (though perhaps still accurate) statement to have made. I’d also be interested as to his reasoning behind exiting if it occurs. Precedent would show that he’s likely to blame the “Democrat machine” and play the martyr who is protecting his family from further false claims by those desperate to prevent a Cain presidency.
Ultimately, Cain’s silver bullet would be a sex scandal rather than sexual harassment. The latter being the only thing actually relevant to his ability to govern. I’d be happy to put a hound back in the White House if it got us the economy of the ’90s again.
Does it matter if she’s black or white?…
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.
Posted by Stephen Robinson on November 29, 2011 in Political Theatre, Social Commentary
Tags: Ginger White, Herman Cain, michael jackson, race