If Cain’s Accusers are Black, He’ll Be All Good

If Cain’s Accusers are Black, He’ll Be All Good


As the news of sexual harassment claims against Herman Cain circulated like wildfire throughout the early week’s news cycle, now is probably the best – and uncomfortable time – to pontificate on the racial dimensions of this story.  Obviously Cain is Black, so that’s easy – but, what about the accusers?

How will this play out once the race of the women are revealed?  Telling is that POLITICO won’t yet reveal that piece – claiming respect for their anonymity (as if journalists really cared about non-disclosure agreements), yet it’s only a matter of time.

Many people have already drawn parallels to the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings. A conservative, Republican Black man on the rise and on the verge of a crucial upgrade in stature, suddenly stalled by allegations of sexual harassment. Sound eerily familiar? The parallels are uncanny and timely given the Anita Hill hearings took place twenty years ago around this same time.

The question is how problematic this becomes if Cain’s accusers are Black … or if they’re White.  Cain, because he’s a Black male Republican, is already dogged by unfounded rumors within the Black community that he’s married to a White woman.  But, he’s not.  His wife is as Black as he is.

Our nation has a sordid history when it comes to interracial relationships and romance, a history that is also jagged and disturbing – think 1955: Emmit Till. Thus, if it gets out that Cain’s accusers are White, the story develops more grit from several angles. First, it could awaken interest from the soap opera types who cling to their living room sofas catching up on Natalie Holloway-Nancy-Grace type stories with much intrigue.  On the flip side, that type of confirmation could sully Cain’s chances of courting away some of President Obama’s Black voters as Cain himself boasted a few weeks back. There are plenty Black women within that base who somehow regard Black men who are attracted to, date or marry White women as being disrespectful towards Black women.  It may confirm suspicions they’ve always had that about Cain. Granted, these women may not have been swing supporters anyway.

The cynics among us are convinced that the accusers must not be Black because had they been POLITICO and other news organizations would not have hesitated outing them by now.  They are convinced Black women are not afforded the same level of courtesy when it comes to anonymity.  They must also be acting on the perception among some that African American women lack a certain amount of credibility, and at bottom would not elicit the same type of sympathy and empathy as their Caucasian sisters can. And with a key part of the story involving pay-to-shut-up, money grubbing is among the stereotypical adjectives that some people assign to Black women.

Confirmation of Black accusers will spell the death sentence to this story which will then be swept aside by week’s end. It could be one of the chief reasons for Team Cain’s own clumsy response. After all, Clarence Thomas (and most recently Dominique Strauss-Kahn) all escaped scandal fueled by Black women accusers without too much injury.  Thomas got his lifetime appointment and Strauss-Kahn’s charges got dropped like a brick.

Cain could get back to wowing the nation and perturbing the D.C. political establishment insiders who can’t figure him out.  They’re not all that happy that he’s perched so comfortably atop the polls, with no signs of toppling off soon.


  1. As if we needed more signs Herman Cain's campaign is a bad joke already past its expiration date…

    I'm disappointed you've suggested this story has a racial dimension. It doesn't. But I'm really uncomfortable with an attorney — a female attorney at that (!) — suggesting disclosures of the plaintiffs' racial identities can be played for a political advantage. That's both cynical and unethical on your part, on top of being insensitive. It's bad enough that rape and sexual assault victims are usually put on the defensive in our nation, which probably deters many other real victims from seeking justice.

  2. Where do you get THAT interpretation? There is nothing written here that even remotely suggests – am advocating for the release of their identities. You’re grasping and reaching here, William. You seem to totally miss the point of my piece, it seems. Try again!

    • At one point *you asked* about the racial identities of Cain's accusers. You went on to all but blame Politico for withholding information. Then you cited the examples of Thomas and Strauss-Kahn as survivors of such scandals when the accusers were 'Black'. My point, Jeneba, was this story does not have a racial element. Whether Cain's accusers are 'Black' or 'White', it actually doesn't matter. At least it shouldn't.

      Perhaps you were addressing in a rather elliptical way the injustices suffered by Black women from our justice system and the media, and in doing so chose an awful example in support of your argument — primarily because you don't know whether either accuser is 'Black'. However, your post doesn't read that way. It reads like apologia for Herman Cain.

      As stories go, there are bigger fish to fry about Cain… like his campaign finance issues.

      • First off I was not "blaming" Politico for withholding the accusers information. Since it appears I have to spell it out more clearly for you, the point, which I think you got in your second paragraph here is that many people are skeptical whether a black accuser would be given the same courtesy of anonymity. I am not calling for Politico to release their names. That is the WRONG inference you are drawing from that statement. Trust.____And "apologia for Cain"? Really? Again, never that. ____Since I know you have been following my writing for a while, you, of all people, should know I am a big advocate for Black women and always have been. Don't know why you think I would be advocating for the women's names be released. ____While you may not appreciate this particular angle and approach to a developing story, it is but one of many angles that is being discussed by many people (not just me, William). If you don't appreciate my brand of pushing the envelope, so be it. ____Not everyone will or do. Thus is life. Carry on. :-)____

        • In writing, "Telling is that POLITICO won’t yet reveal that piece – claiming respect for their anonymity…", you've implied they've done something unethical. And yet I presume you know Cain, his accusers, and the Nat'l Restaurant Association are bound by confidentiality agreements.

          I didn't write you asked Politico to release the women's names. I wrote you asked about their racial identity.

          Then again… you don't know the racial identity of Cain's accusers, so it's presumptuous to use them as examples 'Black' women are not afforded the same level of anonymity as 'non-Black' women in rape and sexual assault cases. There are plenty of better examples to use, e.g.; Crystal Magnum, in support of your point — which, BTW, could have been constructed much better. Then again, there are A LOT of examples to the contrary where not only were 'White' female accusers' identities disclosed publicly, but their character and reputations maligned, e.g.; Paula Jones.

  3. just another play the race card trying to take down a "black" conservative. Next the libs will call him uncle Tom….Much like silly statement: "Confirmation of Black accusers will spell the death sentence to this story which will then be swept aside by week’s end." This is simply false. It didn't happen with Bill, Edwards, etc when like "race" were accusers. If accuser were "black" it would lean even more toward opposite , imho. As we see with "black" woman here, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – color is not relevant. It is shameful writer here try's to imply it does. Of course that is par for the course of this "news" site.

  4. what a lame article i wish i could have that 5 minutes back. Another racist black woman focused on nothing but how it’s “racist” if the accusers “happen to be black”. You don’t even know what the racial identity is of the women, and yet it’s already racist? Oh well i guess that’s all this stupid b!$ch has to talk about. And why do you advocate black women? Shouldn’t you advocate women period?

    • The operative word is "if", Real Manure. Therefore the writer can not be saying, according to you, "it's already racist".
      Although the fact that we talking about it probably means that it is already racists.

      • I was simply pointing out the fact that she is already making conclusions that it's about race before there even any evidence of the womens race. All she has is incunclusive speculation about race. And thats not even the issue. The issue is of a sexual nature not a racial one. This Jeneba Ghatt writer brings race into an issue that has nothing to do with race. She even admits in the above comments that she advotcates black women. What are white women chop liver? She is probably a race card carrying member of the Al Sharpton club that would otherwise be out of work if it wasn't for race. Can't deny that it's a pretty pathetic and unproductive club of receiveing handouts while producing jack s%&t. People like her make me think I ought to be a racist because thats all they promote. She might as well call Herman Cain an Uncle Tom. Then you have skilless deadbeats like Harry Belfonte calling Herman Cain a "false negro." Sickening how divided these people allow themselves to be. You can thank modern journalsim for that.

        • I made no conclusions, simply presented a hypothetical for sake of dialog. I see you landed here reading and took time to post a comment about it and calling me names and huling profanity at me too while you're at it, no less.

          Apparently, you know nothing about me hence your comment about hand outs and is that the default comment people like you add in any comment to a story about blacks – what the heck does handout have to do with anything in this article? Lord have mercy on us all.

          You also know notihng about Black women apparently too exemplified by your questioning as to why that particular group would need an advocate for its specific and insular issues that are unique to it and it alone. If you'd like to be less ignorant, I invite you to read more of my writing on Black women.

          For some reason, I don't believe you have a genuine interest, but alas, you have landed on a blog for and about people of color and yet dare ask what's up with the perspective and talk about people of color?


  5. The settlement does not affect my view of Cain at all, (I kind of like the guy), but I agree with you that this story takes on a life of it's own, depending on the background of the accusers.

    I guess we'll find out soon. Get your popcorn ready

  6. It matters if Cain's accusers are Black or White because Anita Hill mattered. She had no reason to expose herself to all the harassment she still receives today, other than to tell the truth. But the Conservatives supported that worthless dog Clarence Thomas in order to advance their political agenda.
    To say that Clarence Thomas was the best qualified person available in America to be nominated to the Supreme Court was a total joke on the face of it.
    The fact that the Conservatives would support him when confronted by a Black woman and ignore the fact that he was married to a White woman just shows the depth of their hypocrisy.

    • Oh and don't try to act like your democrats are the son's of gods, as you claim conservative hypocrisy. Democrats invented that word. If you stand by either party then you have aready proven to be naive to the facts. Democrats stink to high hell historically. But you librals wouldn't know anything about that, after all you only here to advance Obummer's political agenda. BTW Did you know that your incumbent was caught doing everything he said he wouldn't do, including taking money from lobbyists?

  7. I think the only thing Jeneba is pointing out is that if it turns out a White woman is the plaintiff then Cain can kiss his bid for president goodbye; but if it's a Black woman then no one will care.

    Because I think what she is getting at is that buried deep in this country's "moral fabric" is still the notion that Black men and White women is still taboo; and heaven forbid it's an unwanted tactic… they might even be calling for his head at that point.

    Let's be clear… if Barack Obama had been married to a White woman he WOULD NOT have won. Simple as that (and before you all go crying, 'what about Clarence Thomas' <— I assure you he doesn't have the support of the majority of the Black community and since Barack relied on the Black vote to win, he would not have won if his wife had been White)

    • I believe what Jeneba has actually done is posit a red herring. It matters not whether the plaintiffs are 'Black', 'White', 'Grey', etc., for their racial identities are immaterial to whether their claims had merit, and irrelevant to Cain's fitness for president.

      Women, regardless of racial identity/ethnicity, who file claims for rape, sexual harassment, or sexual assault are typically treated by our justice system as somehow enabling the assailant's behavior. It's a popular tactic of defense attorneys that frequently resonates with jurors. Still, these women reached settlements with Cain — meaning they got justice. Presuming Jeneba to be concerned for 'Black' women's civil liberties, they both would be examples of the system working fairly *even if one or both identify themselves as 'Black'*.

      I'd also disagree that were Obama married to a 'White' woman, he would not have won the presidency. Obama spent a lot of his campaign fighting accusations from Black establimentarians he wasn't 'fully Black'. In fact, the root of many Black Democrats' criticism of him today is based on the same premise: his mother was 'White', his father wasn't an American-born 'Black', he was raised in an atypically 'Black' environment, ergo he's not 100% 'Black' and therefore doesn't care about 'Black' issues. And were it not for his successes among 'White' Democrats in predominantly 'White' populated states like Kansas, Iowa, etc., he wouldn't have won the party's nomination.

        • You don't take responsibility for your opinions. By this I mean you state things like Cain's latest self-inflicted wound having a, "racial component" without 1 shred of evidence in support. Even allowing for it as idle conjecture, it doesn't stand up to the irrefutable logic that the women's racial identities aren't an issue here. And to be frank, neither is Herman Cain's. Moreover, it's not a example of 'Black' women getting short shrift by the justice system or media.

          Observe what you've set in motion here; all the resident troll-bigots have come on to accuse *you* of being a 'Black' racist. This is the outcome when the focus is on the 'Black' concession stand and the zero-sum, 70's-era thinking of racial politics. I understand and accept you mean well, but you know the expression about the road to Hell and good intentions.

          What is apparent is that your reality isn't mine. Neither does it jibe with various facts.

          • Oh I do take responsibility for my opinions. You don't agree with this article. That is fine. You seem to be repeating the same thing as if you are waiting for me to say your perception is correct. They are yours. I'm glad this forum has given you a venue and context to share your thoughts and opinions of my piece. Thanks for sharing, William. Cheers!

  8. the woman put forth a question regarding a hypothetical situation and you tunnel vision racist hypocrits, wannabe equipped with a mind mimickers & good old boys membership have completely ignored the context of the article. The mistake of mentioning clarence thomas is probably what set you off on these attacks exposing you for the very exact bigots that twist and intentional misconstrue the intent of the article. While the question def failed to make you think ….the thot of Anita Hill made you wave your flag of sexist bigoted colors of denial. It is a legitimate question..a contemplation of the racist reality that has burst to the forefront of TP/republican conservative priority that hold the country hostage but has always governed the hearts of this nation though it ws conservtively restrained @ times. Your response is illegitimate the only race card played was introduced by the subject himself. Who are we to deny Cain the credit for his purpose which motivates him to be the one to bring racism into the game and make it to disrupt & undermine the solidarity of the supporters of a racially unbiased president. Cain is a tool to absorb the fallout of the openly racist GOP venom seeping poisioning paralyzing & blinding America. But it was the mention of Anita Hill nearly drove you kkklans brewed morons & witches mad how dare she be virtuos educated influencial a woman and so obviously black & along came Obama…sent ol Legions completly ovr the edge… Why oh why did My President make Osama dead?…how dare this POTUS be a Magnificent Brilliant BLACK Strategist and how dare J Ghatt suggest these links & remind us to think.

    • I am not an African or a woman but find Jeneba's point interesting. To be honest, I do believe this Politico story is a unfortunate distraction for the country even if Cain hit on some staff at the Restaurant Association. With the country in such decline, in extreme debt, so many unemployed, and Europe at brink of collapse, a candidates inappropriate comments 15 years ago seem fairly insignificant. That said, I still can't help wondering why we don't know more about the accusers, as the NDA's don't involve the reporters. What motivated them to make these complaints? Had they been terminated first? If their claims were significant, why did they not pursue litigation? Answers to these questions will be more significant but the soap opera syndrome will likely be heightened on any characteristics of the accusers as that is society.
      In response to Deanie Hobbs, I am certain there is bigotry in both parties. Has for example the Democratic party and this president ever fulfilled promises to African-Americans? Where are for example ethnic Africans better off, in Democratic or Republican dominated constituencies? Moreover, Cain is no tool of the GOP establishment. Karl Rove and others among the establishment have tried to do everything they could to undermine his campaign… Not because he is African but because he is unconventional and a challenge to the status quo, to the government bureaucracy, and to insiders grip on power.

  9. It is really amazing how some whites can deny the intersection between race and sex and have the nerve to demand that we ignore our own circumstances. The mere mention of the historical and continuing marginalization of black women is such an assault to white privilege that they seek out black websites to spew their venom and deny, demonize and derail any conversation they feel doesn't fit into their fantasy of a "color blind" America. SMH

  10. Intersectionality is a theory that is open to debate. The debate is whether race, gender, sexuality, class, and other characteristics are interrelated or independent of each other in discrimination. It is evident that both homophobia and gender marginalization are evident across ethnic communities in America. Whether they are interrelated or not, being all together a minority, a women, and a homosexual makes life difficult for the person across the spectrum. One would have to be a fool to deny that a person with all these characteristics would not have more difficulty than a person with just one category. Certainly religion, particularly Judaeo-Christian and Islam, plays a part if you are other than hetero. Lastly, in every category there is unfortunately discrimination. Even the proponents of intersecionality tend to ignore marginalization of caucasian women, particularly candidates for office of either party. Even feminists who subscribe to this theory tend to jump on the bandwagon when they don’t like the persons politics.

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