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Cain and Lewis: 2 Great Black Men, 2 Different Missions

Mr. Cain

Many have erroneously sent me messages comparing the life of Herman Cain with that of John Lewis. "Apples and Oranges", got me? Truly, I believe that doing so is like comparing apples and oranges. I often play a devil advocacy role because it is the best role that can help human minds self-assess effectively. You see, I have spoken to many Black elders who sounded like both men before and I learned very meaningful segments of history and meaningful wisdom from both types.

Mr. Lewis

You see, when we pick and choose who we should listen to based on how much they "sound" like us, we fail to grow and we fail to see the same things from a different angle... after all, the whole purpose of research is to make new discoveries and thus look at things at different angles. Mr. Cain did not sound like the majority of Blacks in America because he never wanted to view himself as "just a Black man in America"... it is a limiting role in the opinions of many. Rather, he was a MAN first, a successful business man, who happens to live in America, a country that defines his story, and part of his story is sharing the Black American experience albeit form a different perspective.

See, in life as in love, there are different approaches and missions. Most of us will not have dedicated our lives to a cause that is bigger than ourselves like that of civil rights. To be self-less enough to forego of one's own goals and make humanity's well-being one's life mission is not only noble, but also rare. Only a handful of human-beings have truly done so and it includes people like Dr. King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and yes the late great John Lewis. But you cannot be heartless enough to be happy that Herman Cain died of COVID just because he disagreed with you on the topic of COVID and didn't have the same mission that the late Congressman Lewis had.

However, this should never diminish the life mission of other impressive men and women whose focuses are more entrepreneurial and status quo disrupting. It is easy for a group of people to stay in one area, where there is less discrimination and intolerance. However, some people decide to venture into areas where people that look like them were not welcome and decide to offer a different view of the same issue by counter-intuitively inducing the minds of people on both sides to think of certain things different. No human race is truly monolithic in views, genes or even culture and lifestyle and neither should the Black race. Mr. Cain represented a breath of fresh air to many Blacks and Whites in the entrepreneurial World. He turned seemingly dying brands like Burger King, Godfather Pizza around. He was the governor of the Federal Reserve Bank, and his least impressive job was that of a rocket scientist. And don't forget that he was winning in his presidential poll as a Republican nominee until the media sabotaged him. He offered a perspective of Blacks that wasn't based on victim-hood, but rather on work ethics and beating the odds via entrepreneurship and ingenuity. It was a different mission, but I posit that it was a differently worthwhile one nonetheless. Some will choose one path, while others the other, and some will be hybrids and yet some will live a life that is relatively purposeless. To each his/her own. But these two men were amazing American stories. If any of my children grow up to be like anyone of them, I'd be a very proud parent, and I am sure souls of our ancestors are proud of them as well!

RIP Mr. Cain, and Mr. Lewis and thank you for being two GREAT BLACK AMERICANS in your OWN WAYS as per YOUR OWN CALLINGS. I am proud of YOU BOTH!


Pete Lorins is the chief editor of This article was sponsored by

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