Herman Cain calls himself “Haagen-Dazs Black Walnut” flavor of the week. Is he putting himself down? Is he putting his race down?
According to the Christian Science Monitor, Herman Cain is now the GOP presidential front-runner, a new poll says. When asked if he’s the flavor of the month, Herman Cain says ‘Black Walnut tastes good all the time.’ In the article he is referred to as both “flavor of the week” and “flavor of the month.”
I’m just not sure how to take his comment about himself. Black walnut isn’t a putdown, but it also seems to me that he is poking fun at himself and in using race to do the fun poking. By making fun of his blackness, I think, he is diminishing himself and also the seriousness of his candidacy.
Maybe he is only being self-deprecating. But he could have been self-deprecating in so many other ways. By choosing race, I think he is suggesting that his race is a reason people shouldn’t actually take him seriously.
What do you think the impact of this toss-off line is? Is it self-deprecating? Or should we take it purely at face value? What is the face value? Is it poking fun at the color of his own skin? If so, is that a form of racism? Does a comment like this give people an excuse not to take him so seriously? Does he not take himself seriously? Does his ability to make fun of his race show he has humor about a touchy subject and disarm people who might otherwise use his race against him? Or does none of this matter now that we already have a black president?
Sorry about so many questions. I find this fascinating. I’d be interested in your perspectives on this.