DANIEL: Dear Mr. Cain

Carol Daniel

I was going to write about the college republicans bake sale prices for Whites, Asians, Blacks, Latinos and women in California. It is distasteful to me but I also thought, “what’s new.” So some of us don’t see eye to eye with some of us… What’s funny is while the bake sale noted lower prices for blacks based on the college’s proposal to charge different tuition rates based on ethnicity and gender, I thought, don’t some of us pay more based on those same things? A Federal Reserve study found that despite similar income, credit history and down payment, blacks would likely get higher mortgage rates! Let’s not even talk about prison sentence disparities!

But I’m not writing about that. With Herman Cain, GOP presidential candidate moving up in the polls, I thought I would write him a letter after he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view.”

Dear Mr. Cain,

I was moved to write you after hearing and reading your comments about “brainwashed black people.” I Googled the video of your comments and then statistics about the conservative views of African-Americans in part because I have been brainwashed into thinking that Google is the only search engine on the planet.

Many will be surprised and even disappointed to read my reaction. I think you are correct. But first, I have been brainwashed into getting definitions of words before I use them in sentences or columns.

Brainwashed: a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented points of view.

Now, from reading that, I think we can all agree that black people are not really brainwashed. They’ve been convinced and the Republican party has not put out the welcome mat to convince them otherwise. Most death row inmates are black. DNA has freed hundreds from death row and life sentences. Most conservatives support the death penalty. Police brutality has been proven in the courts. Most conservatives support police no matter what. Some 80 percent of African-Americans say they’ve experienced discrimination. What is the Republican point of view about that? These issues tend to separate many whites and blacks politically.

And there’s more.

A young professional woman who happens to be black once told me that she is convinced that the right man for her is a black man who has equal education. She has a masters and is working on her PH.D. Is she brainwashed into having those expectations? Are others with much lower expectations brainwashed as well?

The National Retail Federation says total Halloween spending will hit $6.9 billion, up 19 percent from last year. Aren’t all consumers brainwashed into buying certain things like Halloween candy and Christmas trees and presents? We are all sheep!

Experts say a woman in an abusive relationship stays in part because her abuser has convinced her she’s unworthy. Do you think these poor women are brainwashed?

When I lived in Cape Girardeau, a circuit court judge once told me that he didn’t know how to talk to black people. He’s brainwashed into thinking he has nothing in common with them. Another white elected official told me that he had wondered for years about how to attract black constituents. Really? Years and you didn’t come up with anything??? Perhaps he was brainwashed into thinking nothing would work.

If you think black Democrats are brainwashed, you’d have to also think that white Republicans are brainwashed as well. Can you say, ‘set in their ways?”

African-American voters may be convinced that one party has their back more than another. But to get them to, as you put it, consider a conservative point of view, you’ll have to first, not insult them and secondly do what any CEO does when trying to sell his product, tell the potential customer why your product is better than any other! I know some have tried to break through the clutter and explain such things but none of it has been good enough.

And then you told the ladies of “The View” Wednesday that black voters who won’t even consider a conservative view can’t be saved. You are in ministry Mr. Cain and I just don’t believe that point of view is spiritual at all. If you think they are lost, why wouldn’t you try to save them? Jesus says, “You go and tell them how to be saved.”

Mr. Cain, I will leave you with this. I think black people are more conservative than you think. A 2008 Gallup Poll found that black Democrats agree with Republicans on same-sex marriage and that 76 percent of black Democrats attended church regularly, while 67 percent of Republicans did. Church is where we generally hear that sex is for marriage; we are to encourage one another; if a man wants to eat, let him work and parents must discipline their children. I”m not saying the behavior matches the message but that sounds pretty conservative to me.

These issues between we human beings of different skin tones are very deep. All I can say, is we just can’t give up on one another.

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