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Rep. Steve Cohen is 'trying to act black'? Really?

Politicians who play the race card to gin up voter anger and resentment enrage me. I’m particularly spitting fire over Willie Herenton (D), the former mayor of Memphis who is trying to snatch the Democratic Party nomination from Rep. Steve Cohen. Herenton, who is African American, said recently that Cohen, who is white, was “trying to act black.” He also said that primary voters “need to come off that Cohen plantation and get on the Herenton freedom train.”

This latter-day Harriet Tubman is working my last nerve. Has Herenton not seen the video of Cohen dancing at a campaign event?

Cohen is going to have to try a whole lot harder, methinks.

Anyway, this isn’t the first time Herenton has tried to race bait Cohen. Last year, Herenton sucker punched Cohen when he said, "To know Steve Cohen is to know that he really does not think very much of African-Americans." Nevermind that Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District, which is 60 percent black, sent Cohen to Washington in 2006 (with 60 percent of the vote) and again in 2008 (with 87.9 percent of the vote). He works hard for those votes, right down to trying to join the Congressional Black Caucus upon his arrival on Capitol Hill. He was turned down. But many of the members are actively campaigning for his reelection. President Obama has endorsed him.

Herenton said the president’s endorsement is an “act of desperation” by the Cohen campaign. No, Herenton’s constant racial taunts and misguided reliance on race loyalty to help him defeat Cohen are what’s desperate -- and shameful.

By Jonathan Capehart  | July 26, 2010; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Ooh Lawd! Why must we now have the second coming of Mr. Greene in this current political season? Isn't one fool enough! Geez!

Posted by: raye1 | July 26, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

LOL! That was funny! Is that sweat all over his shirt?

Posted by: forgetthis | July 26, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Capeheart. For a man and his ilk who scream racism at the drop of a hat you managed to use every phase or substitute word you could find for what it realy is RACISM. Including just the premise of a black causus. Imagine. "today the Congressional White Causus announced...."

Posted by: j751 | July 26, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

What was it, almost 40 years ago, at a gig at the Washington Folklore Society, I -- a white boy, aged 25, born in Boston, grown up in MD, educated at the University of New Mexico, working at the Folklife Festival (in the Native Americans section) -- was asked (by Ralph Rinzler) to sit in as backup guitar for a blues singer.

At the close of the set, she put her hand on my knee and said, "Son, are you sure you ain't from N'Orleans?"

I take that as an ultimate complement.

Herenton doesn't seem to get that distinction between culture and race.

tk

Posted by: tkavanag | July 26, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

So in complaining about race baiting and how much it bothers you, you employ a tired racial stereotype about white people dancing. Classy. Professional. No, wait....ad hominem and uncalled for.

Posted by: VAPost1 | July 26, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Mr Capehart, What exactly is the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)? Is it a club reserved exclusively for Black members of Congress, or is it an organization of congresspersons who are working to advance the welfare of Black people? Is the exclusion of Mr. Cohen from the CBC based on the fear of Black congressmen that Mr. Cohen might learn something about the motives of the CBC that it doesn't want revealed to the public? It is questions like the latter that lead to suspicions that Obama is suspected of having a covert Black agenda.

Posted by: Paaa | July 26, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Mr Capehart, What exactly is the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)? Is it a club reserved exclusively for Black members of Congress, or is it an organization of congresspersons who are working to advance the welfare of Black people? Is the exclusion of Mr. Cohen from the CBC based on the fear of Black congressmen that Mr. Cohen might learn something about the motives of the CBC that it doesn't want revealed to the public? It is questions like the latter that lead to suspicions that Obama is suspected of having a covert Black agenda.

Posted by: Paaa | July 26, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Okay...that was funny. What is not so funny is the path Dr. Herenton has taken since his days as school principal and head of the Memphis City Schools. For thousands of school children attending Memphis' inner city schools, Dr. Herenton was a hero. At one time, I attended a school where he was principal. We looked up to him, literally and figuratively. He came from the same background and neighborhood as many of us. Although, I moved away from Memphis, many years ago, I celebrated his becoming mayor of the city.

But I guess it's true that in some cases power is corrupting. I've heard nothing but good things about Rep. Cohen and many of my friends and relatives are sick of Herenton (and the Fords) and are ready to move on.

Posted by: zzishate@yahoo.com | July 26, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

RACISM. Including just the premise of a black causus. Imagine. "today the Congressional White Causus announced...."

Posted by: j751
****

The Congress pretty much IS a white caucus, dearie.

I've heard of color-blindness, but j has a special disability - ability to see color, but inability to distinguish dark from light.

Posted by: j3hess | July 26, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Alvin, you're lookin a whole lot better to me.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | July 26, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Sherrod owes Breitbart & Fox News an apology for her horrible, racist statements about them!!!!!!

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | July 26, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Sherrod owes Breitbart & Fox News an apology for her horrible, racist statements about them!!!!!!

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | July 26, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

"Has Herenton not seen the video of Cohen dancing at a campaign event?"

Possibly the most offensive thing to ever appear on the WaPo.
Methinks Mr. Capehart would be spitting fire if the same comment were made by any number of other contributors, regardless of sly the intent.

Mr. Capehart's feigned 'post-racial' racism is as appalling as anything Herenton has come up with.

Posted by: backwoods_intellect | July 27, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

"Has Herenton not seen the video of Cohen dancing at a campaign event?"

Possibly the most offensive thing to ever appear on the WaPo.
Methinks Mr. Capehart would be spitting fire if the same comment were made by any number of other contributors, regardless of sly the intent.

Mr. Capehart's feigned 'post-racial' racism is as appalling as anything Herenton has come up with.

Posted by: backwoods_intellect | July 27, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

"Has Herenton not seen the video of Cohen dancing at a campaign event?"

Possibly the most offensive thing to ever appear on the WaPo.
Methinks Mr. Capehart would be spitting fire if the same comment were made by any number of other contributors, regardless of sly the intent.

Mr. Capehart's feigned 'post-racial' racism is as appalling as anything Herenton has come up with.

Posted by: backwoods_intellect | July 27, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Paaa ... the Congressional Black Caucus is a cabal of members of the House of Representatives who are black AND DEMOCRATS. Their goal is to attain power and control over ALL of the blacks in America, and to use that to gain legislative advantages.

Republican, Independent or Caucasian? -Don't Apply!

Posted by: Hazmat77 | July 27, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Rep. Cohen: As a rule, middle-aged Jewish men should not dance in public or try boxing footwork. Not even me -- and my wife is black and my best friend is a boxing coach and trainer.

Posted by: roblimo | July 27, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Mr Capeheart: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU from a former Memphian (born and raised) who has been disgusted with Mr. Herenton's antics for some time. If you want to look at something truly egregious, though, consult the 2008 archives of the Memphis Commercial Appeal for the story of the absurd anti-Semitic fliers employed (thankfully not by anyone affiliated with Herenton, who wasn't running) against Cohen signed by a Black clergyman FROM 220 MILES AWAY. This crap just never goes away, it would seem.....

Posted by: nolaprof1643 | July 27, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"Imagine. "today the Congressional White Causus announced...."

Posted by: j751"

I think Michelle Bachman is trying to start one.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 27, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Mr Capehart, What exactly is the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)? Is it a club reserved exclusively for Black members of Congress, or is it an organization of congresspersons who are working to advance the welfare of Black people?
Posted by: Paaa | July 26, 2010 2:34 PM |

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Maybe it is similar to the Tea Party caucus. I understand that anyone can have a caucus. Perhaps you should Google Congressional caucuses and see what you find out.

Posted by: catmomtx | July 27, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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