"Herman Cain, Booker T. Washington, and Barack Obama"
by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
Revolution #248, October 23, 2011
Herman Cain, the "Black conservative" candidate for President, calls to mind Booker T. Washington. Washington was promoted as a "responsible Negro" by the powers-that-be—and was actually the darling of open, aggressive white supremacists—during the period of Jim Crow segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror, because Washington insisted that Black people should not fight their oppression but should work to "better" themselves by accepting and working within their horribly oppressed conditions. Cain today, in this era of New Jim Crow and supposedly "colorblind" oppression, is treated as a serious political contender, and is a favorite of the—yes, racist—"Tea Party," because Cain acts the part of a 21st century Minstrel Show clown, posturing and proclaiming: that he made it all by himself...that America is the greatest country, and there are no racist barriers, no racist oppression to be angry about...And if you don't have a job and aren't rich—blame yourself.
And then there is President Obama, who uses his "blackness" to help enforce and "justify" the "modern-day" enslavement of the masses of Black people, along with the deepening divide between the haves and have-nots, the violation of the environment, the robbing of the future from the youth, the wars, torture and assassinations, and other abominations carried out by the ruling class of this country, and its machinery of violent repression, death and destruction, all around the world as well as "at home."
From Booker T. Washington to his "successors" today...from second-class servant of the system to actual or wannabe commander-in-chief...it's all about perpetuating a capitalist-imperialist system based on exploitation and oppression—committing countless crimes against humanity.
The masses of people, and humanity as a whole, must and can do better.