A guest columnist for the New York Daily News has declared that Herman Cain’s use of the word “cornbread” is “troubling” — accusing the Republican presidential candidate of race-baiting and calling his speeches a “form of minstrelsy.”
Ulli Ryder, a faculty member at Simmons College, wrote a lengthy tirade on Cain accusing him of using racist language in his speeches.
Ryder was especially offended by his use of the phrase “shucky-ducky” and Cain’s announcement that his Secret Service codename should be “Cornbread.”
“For some people, these are nothing more than charming phrases; but for others, they raise the specter of race in ways that are unsettling,” the professor wrote. “For example, “shucky-ducky” is a nonsensical phrase often associated with uneducated Southern blacks. Cain’s wish to be called “cornbread” is also troubling, since it can be viewed, like watermelon and fried chicken, as a stereotype applied to blacks.”
I’m assuming Simmons College is an accredited institution.
The professor with a distaste for cornbread accused Cain of using self-deprecating humor to put white audiences at ease.
“But I see the very real and troubling possibility that Cain’s use of vernacular, and his casual assertion of a desire to be called “Cornbread,” may be ploys to put potential donors — many of them wealthy conservative whites with few, if any, ties to any black community — at ease,” she wrote. “Cain’s use of black vernacular speech seems to be a way of telling right-wing audiences that he is a real black man, a real American and not a threat to the racial status quo of the nation.”
Did it ever occur to the professor that Mr. Cain simply enjoys eating cornbread?