November 25, 2011

"[Herman] Cain avoided some of the most heated moments of the 1960s, and he said his recollections of that era are hazy."

"He said he doesn't recall being aware of Dr. King, a 1948 graduate of Morehouse, ever visiting the campus, including a convocation during Mr. Cain's senior year at which Dr. King was the featured speaker and the glee club performed. Mr. Cain sang baritone for the glee club all four years at Morehouse."

Excerpt from "Herman Cain's Political Education," in the Wall Street Journal.
Some Morehouse graduates have criticized Mr. Cain for being disengaged from the civil-rights movement. Horace Bohannon Jr., who sometimes shared lecture notes with Mr. Cain as an underclassman and later became a follower of Stokely Carmichael and his "black power" movement, said he perceived in Mr. Cain a disdain for students who became more deeply involved in the turmoil of those days. "We were hellbent on changing this society and the structure of the South," he said. "There was sort of a resentment toward us by Herman."

But others from that era say that many students at the school focused on preparing for careers, and that some faculty members discouraged open participation in marches and similar activity.

"Most of the Morehouse fellows did not participate," said Wesley D. Clement, a classmate of Mr. Cain who is now an eye surgeon in Charlotte, N.C. "Your main target and goal was to prepare yourself for business and life. Not that we were ignorant of what was going on or didn't favor what was going on. But we were not involved in the things that some people would have called more radical at that time."

42 comments:

David said...

Cain was a baritone? Liar. That's a bass voice for sure.

rcocean said...

Given that there about 20 Million AA in the USA in the 1960s, I'd say plenty of them weren't marching with MLK.

Maybe they had lives & better things to do.

Phil 3:14 said...

So as a black politician, he's ahead of his time?

Joe said...

So Herman Cain actually spent his time at college, going to college. Imagine that.

David said...

There was a class difference between Herman Cain and Horace Bohannon. Bohannon was a child of the black elite in the south--his father was one of the Tuskegee airmen, who were drawn from that elite. Cain was trying to make it. Horace Bohannon already had it made, class wise.

American blacks are very class conscious. It's one of the traits that makes them so American.

ricpic said...

Cain doesn't make the grade according to the Lawrence O'Donnell guidelines for proper black behavior.

edutcher said...

The line, "Your main target and goal was to prepare yourself for business and life ... ", pretty much nails it.

Herman grew up po', rather than what we call poor today. He had an opportunity and nothing was going to distract him from it.

Proof not all 19 year olds are idiots, although most of us certainly qualified.

jeff said...

I look forward to the in depth articles detailing what all other people running for president did while in college. Did all of them also support the correct movements during their time in college? Will we be getting interviews with fellow students about them? Both parties, of course.

Ann Althouse said...

"Cain was a baritone? Liar. That's a bass voice for sure."

Johnny Cash was a "bass-baritone." (To give you some idea of how low a bass is.)

traditionalguy said...

There is not a better man running than Herman Cain. His life has been a success and he wants to see that plan available for the next generations.


So far he has gone from the leading the the pack to a non entity... because of what?

The 9-9-9 plan really would work great. Much better than Steves Forbes' plan. And such a plan is the only thing that could save the Bx USA besides eliminating national defence.

The white women really would not have to be sacrificed to black monsters.

The foreign policy wonks really do make up stuff as if it matters.

Newt doesn't plan to win anything, except a lecturer's podium.

Perry and Cain are the only two who would make much difference, and Perry hates lawyers...so there you have it.

john said...

Until I got drafted in the late 60's, it was a pretty hazy decade for me too.

miller said...

This is a non-issue. Cain would do well to say "I remember my years at Morehead with fondness, and I appreciate that others have their own experiences." And then just talk about his own stuff.

Really, the ability of the news media to be distracted by shiny things is almost frightening. The only thing that keeps me from awakening in the night screaming is knowing that the next shiny thing will distract them.

DKWalser said...

Cain's attitude as a college student is similar to most American's attitude towards current events. For the most part, we are not consumed with the political arguments of the day. In the early 1970's, most of use weren't closely following the abortion controversy; nor were most of us aware of the details of the foreign currency problems of the 1990's. Etc., etc., etc. Most Americans don't take a great interest in current events unless those events directly affect them.

For those of us who are current event junkies, this becomes a problem when trying to judge a business professional, like Cain, making a foray into politics. The new politician hasn't thought through all the issues of the day and is apt to take the "wrong" position. That is, take a position other than the one the new politician would have taken had he or she thought carefully about the issue. The new politician inevitably sounds unsophisticated or, should the politician change positions after having had the chance for reflection, sounds unprincipled.

Cain's failure to "get involved" in the civil rights movement doesn't bother me. What does bother me is his apparently continuing lack of interest in foreign policy issues. A lack of interest in such things is perfectly acceptable in a business professional; it's not in a presidential candidate.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I look forward to the in depth articles detailing what all other people running for president did while in college.

Cool. Maybe we will finally get some information on Obama.

HDHouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HDHouse said...

I wonder what other things went pow-bif-zoom right over PizzaMan's noggin.....sounds like quiz time.

rcocean said...

Obama was in college for a VERY Long time. 1979-1991. He's like Bill Clinton who was in college from 1964-1974!

Plenty of time for him to be concerned with current affairs, but he didn't seem to have done much prior to 1985.

traditionalguy said...

The City of Atlanta was "a City too Busy to Hate" and the 1960s went by fast with no demonstrations here except one lunch counter sit-in.

School integration was simply done...no hassles.

Only April 4 1968 really got our attention about a local resident we respected. They should not have killed that good man.

The real stress for us was Viet Nam. LBJ escalated it into a War for no good reason that we could figure out...or he could figure out either.

Nixon fixed all that. No more draft after a lottery year, and an American withdrawal once prisoners were released and the South Vietnamese were ready to fight on their own. (The Fall of Saigon was not our defeat at all. It was removal of some Embassy personnel two years later after the Dems refused to fund military supplies for the South Vietnamese.)

Today we have an Afghanistan problem and no Nixon in sight.

Erik said...

There is an expectation that people of that age all engaged somehow in the various countercultures. But the fact that they were *counter*cultures should remind us that most people weren't heavily engaged in them. 60s history has been dominated by the peace movement when, in fact, most people never stepped near a march, never dropped acid, LSD, or smoked pot.

And so it's no surprise that we come across a black man who didn't participate in the movement. And getting someone who was involved in the "black power" movement to complain about it says more about liberal white expectations of blacks than it does about Herman Cain.

edutcher said...

HDHouse said...

I wonder what other things went pow-bif-zoom right over PizzaMan's noggin.....sounds like quiz time.

Bet he knows Hawaii isn't in Asia.

SunnyJ said...

I was at the UW Madison in the 60-70's and did not associate myself with Bill Ayers, SDS, the Black Panthers or any of that. I was working 2 jobs, putting myself and my fiance through college. He was a NCAA Scholar Athlete at UW-L, which took all of his time.

This just always reminds me of John McCain's answer to why he wasn't at Woodstock..."I was tied up at the time", referring to his imprisonment by the Viet Cong.

One of the culture wars that is going on in this election and this country is the last gasping breath of the radicals of all kinds from the 60-70's that didn't get the big revolution they wanted. They can't forgive the progress that has been made without their radical solution. Those in their 50-70's now are split the same way we were back then, same dialogue/vernaular/premises and for sure the same tactic of anger/resentment/ridicule.

It will be good for this country when that generation is gone. They were divisive then and remain so today, while the bulk of us in that generation have done all the heavy lifting. It will be a great day when the Fox-Piven generations give it a rest.

David said...

Re Johnn Cash:

They had me sing bass in the high school choir. I was really a baritone but I could fake it as a bass. It was fun singing bass.

I always tried the bass lines in the great doo-wop numbers. They were great because I was not singing them.

Ralph L said...

but he didn't seem to have done much prior to 1985.
His 1983 Senior thesis was on the nuclear freeze crap, and I believe I read he went to a CND or Sane/Freeze meeting at least once.

My childhood best friend was in his Punahou class for 3 years, but they only crossed paths once, in JV Basketball tryouts. It's a big school.

Michael said...

I taught at an historically black college during the years after Cain's time. The students were not political, the events of Kent and Jackson State could have been happening on the moon for all the students cared. They were interested in their fraternities and sororities and football games. It is pretty to think that all blacks in the south were marching up and down but they were not.

jacksonjay said...

Looks like Herman took the Booker T. Washington approach. Liberals much prefer the W.E.B. DuBois approach.

As we know, libs claim to be tolerant and see the world in nuisanced ways, by that is a bunch of crap.

hombre said...

edutcher wrote: HDHouse said...

"I wonder what other things went pow-bif-zoom right over PizzaMan's noggin.....sounds like quiz time."

Bet he knows Hawaii isn't in Asia.


Bet he also knows there are 50, not 57, states and that "corps" is not "corpse" and that nobody speaks Austrian.

hombre said...

Bet he also knows how to work for a living!

Michael Haz said...

He has a degree in mathematics. He must not be 'authentic'.

miller said...

Booker T. Washington was of the opinion that black Americans should not try to be the equal of white Americans but should instead just stay quiet for generations and be "good." W. E. B. DuBois believed that black Americans were different and in many ways far better. Which way emphasized the fact that they were American citizens and true men and women? Which way emphasized the fact that they were simply second-class and would remain so for generations?

Might be interesting for a white person to consider that black people really don't think about them at all. Neither scared nor impressed. Just - irrelevant and obsolete. That would be truly devastating to the psyche of white people who need to constantly find some reason to feel superior over someone.

ken in sc said...

Miller--I call bullshit.

jacksonjay said...

Miller,like I said, not a lot of nuance in your view! Do you see MLK or Malcolm X as the greater force?

Seems to me that black people think about white people all the time. Maybe we live in parallel universes!

Sorun said...

Might be interesting for a white person to consider that black people really don't think about them at all. Neither scared nor impressed. Just - irrelevant and obsolete. That would be truly devastating to the psyche of white people who need to constantly find some reason to feel superior over someone.

Waiting to be irrelevant and obsolete. Waiting to be devastated.

Still waiting...

Carol_Herman said...

American politics is a dirty business!

Stokely Carmichael? Are you pulling my leg? Malcolm X? James Baldwin? Those people were INSANE!

So, from this article, it seems Herman Cain was smart enough NOT to get on Nixon's "enemies list." And, he kept his nose clean.

That he'd be a great presidential candidate? HELL, NO!

While, on the other hand, Nixon paid a lot of attention to foreign policy. He was still paranoid. And, prone to letting his staff make major mistakes. Heck, who can forget Haldeman and Erlichman? And, John Dean?

Bill Clinton? You know if it wasn't for Monica; I think nobody would remember why they actually liked that man.

One of the thing ALL of the 8-condendah's own ... is that they want to "parlay" their current ability to attract some voters ... no matter how small the crowd ... Into a ticket within a GOP administration.

The way the thinking goes ... is that Obama can't hold on. And, even the weakest competition can finish the race ahead of him. (That's not my philosophy.)

I think Obama is gonna face an Independent entering the race ... who will run better than Ross Perot. Sure. It gave Bill Clinton the "plurality."

Bill Clinton doesn't win a majority until he ran in 1996. Against Bob Dole.

The GOP (like Hollywood now), has trouble picking talent.

PETER V. BELLA said...

Who cares? That was long ago and is irrelevant. Just like MLK is today.

steve l said...

Bill Clinton doesn't win a majority until he ran in 1996. Against Bob Dole.

close but no cigar, didn't quite get 50% even then

William said...

If some intrepid reporter discovered that he "did a little blow" back in his college days, I wonder how that would be reported.

The Crack Emcee said...

Now this is an interesting racial conversation (finally!) but nuance is called for:

Yes, most blacks didn't march or protest, but were quite aware of what was going on, so to call Herman out like this is disingenuous.

"Black Power" was the end of the Civil Rights movement and the beginning of the idiot brigade.

There's some truth to what miller says about how blacks regard whites, generally - left to our own devices, we don't think or speak of whites, just as when I'm hanging with my oldest white friend we don't even speak of race unless we have to for some reason. Blacks are SURROUNDED by whites, whites are not the center of our world - by a long shot. We'll talk of that phenomena, and whatever effect that has on our lives, but his statement that we're "neither scared nor impressed" has validity in the circles I run in. Whites as obsolete? That seems silly on it's face.

Malcolm X was more important than Martin Luther King - more of a visionary and possessed more potential as a human being and leader - but his death at the hands of The Nation of Islam extinguished all of that, including the ability for most to see him for what he was - Hendrix to MLK's Beatlemania.

If I could bring back either of them, I'd pick Malcolm in a heartbeat,...

Synova said...

"Might be interesting for a white person to consider that black people really don't think about them at all. Neither scared nor impressed. Just - irrelevant and obsolete. "

That would be good.

From my perspective it seems the opposite (glad to know if it's not). So much seems to be about a comparison to how white people have it. Now, maybe it's white people doing that. I wouldn't be surprised. But take all the "white privilege" crap from the last few years where we're supposed to answer this list of questions to reveal our privilege to ourselves and then realize that we're racists because we're white, no matter what our actual attitudes are.

"That would be truly devastating to the psyche of white people who need to constantly find some reason to feel superior over someone."

And who would that be?

Certainly not those saying, "Please can we just ignore race already!"

Maybe its all those self-righteous white folks pushing those privilege quizes, you think?

Synova said...

Also...

Cain sounds like a lot of the people I'm meeting at college. Or at least, the ones who talk to me.

Being focused on a future career while at school instead of social issues is something I think that a whole lot of people can identify with.

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PaulV said...

Herman Cain has done much to change the world and improve it it. The tenors said I was a bass nad the basses said I was a tenor. I was either a baritone or off note.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

***ASSUMPTION ALERT***

So.

Herman Cain 'avoided' some of the most heated moments of the 60's.

Once again, the left shows their penchant for memes and redefining words to fit the narrative.

Crashingly boring. Obvious, the left has no arrows left in the quiver.

Garbage in = garbage out.