Another High-Tech Lynching is Underway

November 14, 2011

In 1991, Judge Clarence Thomas was nominated to a seat on the United States Supreme Court. Shortly after that nomination was announced, a war for the philosophical soul of the federal judiciary broke out.

The stakes were even higher than they were when Ronald Reagan nominated Robert Bork to the High Court. This time, it was not just a younger judge replacing an older one. It was not simply a conservative jurist replacing a liberal. This was a young black conservative, Clarence Thomas, replacing an old black liberal icon, Thurgood Marshall.

For Democrat members of the U.S. Senate — Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Patrick Leahy and their progressive ilk — that reality could not stand. In their narrow little minds, the only true blacks were liberal blacks.

Remember the scurrilous charges of sexual harassment Anita Hill directed at Judge Thomas? Her description of alleged offenses seemed completely out of character to anyone who knew the man, and many witnesses came forth to defend him.

His now-famous words, uttered during his inquisition before the United States Senate, still ring in the memory of every fair-minded American: “This is nothing but a high-tech lynching of an uppity black man who dared to think for himself.”

Fast forward 20 years and another uppity black man, Herman Cain, has done it again. Not only has he dared to think for himself, he has managed to work his way up the ladder and become a successful businessman, and cause panic in the Washington Establishment in ways even Clarence Thomas couldn’t do. Because Herman Cain is daring to run for president, and because conservatives who are fed up with Washington politics-as-usual are responding to him, he is dangerous to the liberal status quo.

The real racial progress in this country is among conservatives, who care about what Martin Luther King cared about: the content of a man’s character rather than the color of his skin. Today’s bigots are the liberal race baiters who use ethnicity as a bludgeon to keep minorities slaving away down on the progressive plantation. For all their yapping about Jim Crow laws (almost all of which were instituted by Southern Democrats, incidentally), it is they who look down upon black Americans and view them as inferior and incapable of accomplishing anything without the help of government.

For those who remember Alex Haley’s family history, as told in his book, “Roots,” think of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and, yes, even Barack Obama, as Fiddler, the man born a slave who always did what the master told him to do. Then think of Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain as Kunta Kinte — the man who was born free and refused to be a slave. Do you recall what happened to him?

He was hobbled to stop him from running!

What is happening to Herman Cain is a travesty, and I, for one, don’t believe a word of the accusations being leveled against him. When I heard the name of liberal activist attorney Gloria Allred in connection with the latest woman leveling unsubstantiated accusations at the man, it simply confirmed what I already believed: another high-tech lynching is underway.

As of this writing, the vicious attacks on Herman Cain have backfired. Defying the laws of political gravity, his poll numbers have continued to rise. In the week after the slurs started flying in the online rag Politico, his campaign raised nearly as much money as it had in the previous quarter.

But make no mistake; these attacks will not stop, and they could take their toll. At the time of the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in 1991, one-third of the public believed Anita Hill, while two-thirds believed Clarence Thomas. By 1992, after a solid year of media distortions, half-truths and outright lies about the case, those numbers had flipped. Fortunately, Clarence Thomas only had to campaign for a few weeks to convince a minimum of 51 Senators to vote for his confirmation. Herman Cain has a year of primary and general election minefields to traverse until the 2012 presidential election.

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Copyright ©2011 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.