The overwhelming majority of African-Americans are Democrats and now, Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain alleges that brainwashing may be to blame.
Fresh off of Saturday’s victory in the Florida Straw Poll, Cain told CNN viewers Wednesday that African-Americans, “have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view.” He went on to say, “it’s just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple.”
The notion that Black voters’ political leanings are the result of “brainwashing” is particularly troubling. By inference, it implies that some sort of conspiracy is at work to dominate the minds of a controllable, Black electorate. It boggles the reasonable mind to think that there are people who feel that somehow African-Americans are different than other groups in their ability to process information and make educated decisions.
Historically, Black voters have represented a diversity of political affiliations. In fact, by historical standards, the Black flight to the Democratic Party is a relatively recent undertaking.
Immediately, I think of my own grandfather, who is a Black Republican, and was known to vote across party lines when the decision made sense to him. And my own father, also a Republican, who went through several election cycles without voting for a single Republican. They’re both independent thinkers who, while aligned in party with an opposing party, had no problem supporting Democrats when they deemed it necessary.
So the idea that Black voters are being brainwashed just doesn’t seem to be based in facts or logic. And while Black voters are among the most loyal members of the Democratic base, it appears to be a testament to that loyalty, rather than mind control.
Just ask anyone who has ever made critical statements, no matter how constructive, about the president or any beloved Democratic leader and they will tell you that Black Democrats are devoted, perhaps to a fault. But I understand that their support is not easily won and they don’t give it away freely.
Cain’s comments are an insult to the Black voter’s intelligence and they imply that African-Americans lack the mental capacity to make sound judgments on their own.
Cain said he believes that anywhere from a third to half of Black voters are becoming more open-minded to Republican ideals. Hopefully, no brainwashing will be employed to accomplish that feat.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
(Photo: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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