In a recent appearance on the “Glenn Beck” show, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain stated that Muslims seeking positions in his administration would have to take an additional oath to gain his trust. Citing his belief that the Muslim faith is more dangerous than other religions, Cain expounded that followers of Islam would need to prove they put the Constitution above the Koran to get job from him. The verbose former CEO would not make others meet a similar burden of proof. Left-leaning blog Think Progress has posted the transcript of Cain airing his views:
BECK: You said you would not appoint a Muslim to anybody in your administration.
CAIN: The exact language was when I was asked, “would you be comfortable with a Muslim in your cabinet?” And I said, “no, I would not be comfortable.” I didn’t say I wouldn’t appoint one because if they can prove to me that they’re putting the Constitution of the United States first then they would be a candidate just like everybody else. My entire career, I’ve hired good people, great people, regardless of their religious orientation.
BECK: So wait a minute. Are you saying that Muslims have to prove their, that there has to be some loyalty proof?
CAIN: Yes, to the Constitution of the United States of America.
BECK: Would you do that to a Catholic or would you do that to a Mormon?
CAIN: Nope, I wouldn’t. Because there is a greater dangerous part of the Muslim faith than there is in these other religions. I know that there are some Muslims who talk about, “but we are a peaceful religion.” And I’m sure that there are some peace-loving Muslims.
Think Progress compares Cain’s regressive statements to the argument made in the ’60s against JFK’s candidacy — people were still intolerant of Catholics and believed he might maintain an allegiance to the Pope over the United States!
Today, I am reminded of Obama’s conundrum. Just as Cain has his litmus test for Muslims, America is constantly judging Obama as a black man in office for where his real loyalty lies. His “additional” identity has made the president weary of directly helping the black community because of this scrutiny. President Obama must pass this unspoken “test” of allegiance to all Americans, not just blacks. The result? Blacks feel more ignored under Obama than ever.
As a fellow African-American male who has made it in corporate America, it is appalling that Herman Cain cannot see the parallels between his story and the kind of testing he would apply to Muslims if he were president. Because being black often makes people in the majority see you as foreign, Cain must have constantly battled against the walls of incorrect perception on his way to the top. It must have been frustrating to be forced to prove himself again and again because of his race. Ironically, this is something Cain shares with Obama.
Yet, instead of using these experiences to develop sympathy, Cain is fueling bigotry and going on the attack. A person who creates divisiveness when there is true commonality is not leadership material. The melting pot of America needs a unifying voice if we are to succeed in the coming years. The more he talks, the more Herman Cain reveals his penchant for rancor.