I am not sure that who O'Donnel is questioning Cain's involvement in protests that turned violent against blacks. What experience and oppression has he suffered that even remotely qualifies him to pose that question in any serious way?
Based on his interview with GOP supernova Herman Cain, a cynical person might think that MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell is trying to push the upstart candidate over the finish line for the Republican presidential nomination. On Thursday night’s The Last Word, O’Donnell conducted an interview that surpassed unfair, sped through the tollbooth at offensive, and came to rest in the parking spot marked “Reserved For Despicable.”
Lawrence O’Donnell like that, and not just for his contribution to the ultimate liberal television show, The West Wing. O’Donnell is part of a new breed of liberal commentator who doesn’t talk himself into a corner, and viewers into a coma. He takes strong positions, and expresses them with aggression and clarity.
It is the sure I also don’t like Herman Cain, for a variety of good reasons, some of which O’Donnell touched on in his interview. His victory in the GOP primary race would be great for America, as it would keep a party, hell-bent on fundamentally crippling the government’s ability to govern, out of the White House for at least four more years.At first my question why my reaction to O’Donnell’s interview with Cain was so shocking. I’m not the kind of person who says things out loud to himself, or to the TV screen, but throughout O’Donnell’s grilling of Cain, I found myself doing just that.
Rather than debate Herman Cain on his substantive weaknesses, O’Donnell opted to pull at symbolic threads from Cain’s own personal history. The portion of the interview that will cause most stomachs to churn will probably be when O’Donnell tried to shame Herman Cain for “sitting on the sidelines” during the Civil Rights movement.
Setting aside the fact that this would never be asked of a white candidate from either party, it was the inaction of generations of white people, who “sat on the sidelines” as black people were oppressed and murdered, that made the Civil Rights movement necessary in the first place. As anyone who lived through that era will tell you, just being black in America at that time was a militant act that carried perils that Lawrence O’Donnell will never know. He’s in no position to question, or judge, the miles walked in shoes he will never put on.
Then Cain has called this an "Irrelevant comparison." O'Donnell said he was just reading from Cain's book. "Did you expect every black student and every black college in America to be out there?" Cain said. "...You didn't know, Lawrence, what I was doing...maybe, just maybe, I had a sick relative!"
"I gave your book a fair reading, and I didn't read anything about a sick friend," O'Donnell said. "What I did read was a deliberate decision to not participate in the Civil Rights movement."Cain said he didn't understand why O'Donnell was pressing this point when there were more pressing matters at hand. "Let's do the people of this country a service, Lawrence," he said.