Herman Cain: Morehouse Man or Morehouse Graduate?
The GOP's controversial candidate isn't the HBCU's ideal posterchild
Loop 21 kicks off our partnership with Morehouse, showcasing Op-Eds from current students addressing today's hottest issues.
This is an HBCU’s dream. After molding thousands of young African-American males into model renaissance men, Morehouse College can finally say that one of her sons is running for president. On top of that, he has actually gained popularity and is considered one of the top GOP candidates to win the 2012 election. So, everybody at his alma mater should be behind him, correct? Even if a Morehouse student does not support Herman Cain’s views, they can still recognize him as a credible candidate due to his exemplary demonstration of being an intelligent, outspoken individual that Morehouse claims they create, right? Not exactly.
The student body has been divided on this topic since Herman Cain gained traction in the Republican candidacy race. Arguably every student has firm opinions when it comes to what they think about the nominee. The biggest question on campus is whether Herman Cain is a “Morehouse Man” or simply a Morehouse College graduate.
To be honest, I’m not exactly sure where I stand. I’ve been trying to consider both sides. While 1964 graduate Amos Brown says, “[w]e acknowledge what he has done as a business person, but we don’t take pride in [Cain's candidacy],” Marcellus Barksdale, chairman of Morehouse’s African-American Studies Department argues, “he has done what we have been taught to do.” I believe that if one wants to evaluate Cain’s identity as a Morehouse Man, one has to determine whether or not Herman Cain demonstrates the five “wells” Morehouse College so fervently bases her education on.
A Morehouse Man is well-dressed, well-read, well-traveled, well-spoken, and well balanced. While I personally don’t have problem with his fashion sense (except for maybe the hat), Cain has failed to show me that he can exemplify the other wells. Herman Cain, although establishing himself as a Republican nominee frontrunner, has established himself as a lackluster speaker in pressuring situations. When faced with hard questions, he has collapsed. He has also established himself as a figure that is not well informed about foreign policy.
The best example of his failure to show his responsibility in the last four “wells” is his stance on foreign policy. Not only did he admit to not knowing about the issues in Libya, he argued that he’s “not supposed to know anything about foreign policy.”# He stated that he “assessed the Libyan opposition differently” than Obama, without exactly explaining his views. Throughout the interview, Herman Cain displays that he is not ready for the limelight, due to the lack of skills he should have developed on the subject. He has not read about a main issue pertaining to foreign policy, and is unable to articulate his opinions and ideas eloquently.
While I am relatively liberal, when I first heard about a Morehouse Man running for president I was a bit excited. Excited because I thought this meant that another strong, articulate African-American man embodying the five “wells” had emerged. However, the more that I have learned about him, the more I am proven wrong.