Tuesday, November 29, 2011
A Non-Mystery and Obligatory Question: What Race is Herman Cain's "Mistress" Ginger White?
High comedy: so Ginger White's business partner preferred to date black men, but she disliked black women's hair. Hmmmm...the plot thickens. How twisted indeed is the intimate relationship between blacks and whites, feet intertwined mid-coitus on the cotton bale, but the mystery of the hair has too much symbolic weight to overcome?
What a sick society we are; white supremacy truly is a poison that has hurt us all.
If the visitor logs to We Are Respectable Negroes are any indication, there are many people who are curious as to the race of Herman Cain's "mistress" Miss Ginger White. As a service, I will try to offer some guidance on this most vexing and pressing issue of public concern.
First things first, there is only one race of people on this blue marble called planet Earth (allowing for hobbits and Neanderthals), and that is the human race.
Clarifications aside, in our contemporary nomenclature while she may be light, bright, and damn near white (as the expression goes), Ginger White is a black woman.
As a student of race, and a keen practitioner of "race science," her features, habitus, and "energy" are dead giveaways to my eye.
Does she claim the tribe? I do not know.
Yes, there is a long history of passing in the black community (as well as in others too).
Could Ginger White play that game and slip by the hypodescent rule, crossing over to whiteness in New Orleans, and dancing at an octoroon ball? Damn straight. Could she go to Latin America or Brazil and reverse the one-drop rule, where any bit of "white" ancestry makes you anything but "black?" Absolutely.
Could Ginger White move to New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles and reinvent herself as a "white woman," turning her back on her kin and people? Yes. It happened all of the time.
Folk wisdom and life experience are also good aids in matters related to the race game. I asked my mother, a black woman from the South, about Herman Cain's habits. She said months ago that he was a womanizer and had an "arrangement" with his wife. I ask moms if she thought Ginger White was black. She laughed and reminded me that a man of Herman Cain's age and social background would see a "high yellow," and "damn near" white woman who had "good hair" as the ultimate prize. He would mess around with a white woman, but Cain would keep a light-skinned black woman as his status symbol.
Commonsense goes a long way on these matters. It can also be easily deceived and tricked. So folks, what clues do you use to win the "guess what box to put this racially ambiguous person in" game? Is it their "habitus?" Skin color? Cues and hints in speech? Other tricks?
And when we play this game, we are often wrong. One, either because said person refuses to acknowledge their racial group, and gets upset when "outed." Or two, our lens is just off, and sometimes we encounter a person whose lineage we just can't place.
Do tell, I bet you have some legendary faux pas to report...all players in the race game do.