Dr. Boyce: Herman Cain and Eddie Long, The Black Male Prides of Atlanta


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World

Bishop Eddie Long and former Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain were once considered to be pillars of their community. Long was the lead pastor at one of the largest churches in the south(the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, where he remarkably maintained power), and Cain was on his way to becoming the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

Since then, both Long and Cain have been found to be nothing more than self-proclaimed men of God who spent their spare time doing the work of demons. Eventually earning nicknames like “Eddie Long Stroke” and “Pee Wee Herman Cain,” these men would be the center of one sex scandal after another, often accused of waving their powerful penises at every man, woman (and child) who happened to want a job, some financial support or a little extra “mentorship.”

Mind you, Herman Cain was not quite as bad as Eddie, given that Cain at least harassed grown women. While Cain simply ruined careers of women under his authority, Long appears to have gone even further by taking advantage of young boys who once considered him to be a father figure. In spite of their differences, both Cain and Long can be accused of embarrassing themselves and their families for living lives that were nothing less than entirely hypocritical.

We can also note that in addition to being powerful, wealthy, “men of God” from Atlanta, both of these men also happen to be conservatives (remember that picture of Eddie Long hugging George W. Bush?). Now, this doesn’t mean that liberals don’t cheat on their wives or live life on the downlow, but it does remind us of the risks of engaging in bible thumping condemnation of those who are different from ourselves. Cain spent years telling black people that we are brainwashed and undisciplined, while Long spent his time attacking the same gay community where his boyfriends reside. Only the blindness caused by wealth and power could make either man think that their secrets would never get out.

This kind of hypocrisy appears to have been over the head, out of the view or stuffed into the subconscious of Mrs. Cain and Mrs. Long, who ended up looking as silly as their husbands, standing next to these men as they confessed to an undisciplined, unhealthy, and unethical lifestyle that would put Tiger Woods to shame. One can only wonder what it’s like to have to get tested for STDs every six months, even though you’ve been married to a preacher for decades. Even worse, none of us can say for certain what the results of those tests happened to be.

Mrs. Vanessa Long seems to be the most confused, given that she filed for divorce, reversed her filing hours later, and then changed her mind once again. Mrs. Cain has at least been consistent, seemingly convinced that her husband is righteous, while all those other women are lying gold diggers. It’s hard to figure out whether these women are victims, heroes or dummies; but then again, loving the wrong person can make us into all three.

EddieLongDivorce 500 EddieLongDivorce 500 300x225 picture

Love is complicated, and I speculate that it gets more complex as you get older. Most of us have grandparents who stayed married through thick and thin, even as grand daddy’s male instincts drove him to find physical companionship outside the marriage. I have no doubt that the fairytale delusion was shattered for these women decades ago, and at this point, it may be a matter of sticking by the screwed up man you know, rather than taking a chance on other screwed up men you meet after the divorce. Their experience may also serve as a cautionary tale for women who are fascinated by men with money and power, for they should realize that wealth, influence and an infinite number of options can corrupt the souls of even the most righteous men.

Herman Cain and Eddie Long, the two black male prides of Atlanta, are actually just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the Eddie Longs operate in stealthy silence, condemning others on Sunday because of an internal self-hatred for the part of themselves that they don’t want to accept. The Herman Cains of the world enjoy being tools of racial oppression, claiming that black people have no personal responsibility, yet refusing to take responsibility for the long string of women falling out of the closet. I am disgusted by both men, not because they are sexually undisciplined, but because of their hypocrisy. You shouldn’t spend so much time making others feel bad when you yourself are up to no good.

Both Herman Cain and Eddie Long are birds of a feather.  Their narcissistic disregard for the pain they’ve caused so many others is a sad reminder of how we can be influenced by Christian leaders who’ve abandoned the spirit of Jesus.   Perhaps we need to ask ourselves why we gave these men so much power.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 



Filed under African Americans

25 responses to “Dr. Boyce: Herman Cain and Eddie Long, The Black Male Prides of Atlanta

  1. Pingback: Dr. Boyce: Herman Cain, Eddie Long and Powerful Black Men in the Pulpit

  2. Herman Cain and Rev Long just got caught with their pants down,and their closets full of what ever one puts in them.WHAT ARE THW WIFES THINKING OF THIS MESS?????????

  3. Haywood Fennell, Sr.

    You write well, but who cares about Long and Cain? There are far more positive subjects that you could/should write about. Our People are wounded in the Spirit, but it is not because of those two folks. Let us not report as “White’ press does, but seek a higher level. Do not be so quick to continue this coverage because you have a wholesome copy. Why stain it with this type of copy? Why?


  5. Leonard

    What a shame two black men of power using their power in the wrong way. Now that they are out of the closet it goes to show never put your faith in Man. Miss White you should have kept your mouth close because those other women only said he was trying to make advanages toward them and your relationship was diffrence although it was wrong as two left shoes being place on the right foot. I am not a fan of Mr Cain nor would I have voted for him if he got the nomination and the same goes for Nute. How soon we forget he was one involve in the Saving and Loan scander.

  6. J.Will

    What a disgrace to the world at large by these two perps who claimed to be conservatives. Well if that is what conservative values are I have no intent of embracing them. I am glad that they have been exposed to the world for just who they really are Fakes, frauds and phonies.

  7. Vee

    I agree with Haywood’s post. I feel bad for the wives but could care less about either man. Let’s target those African American leaders positively impacting our communities.

  8. Joseph Lerebours

    What had happened to Long and Cain shows that it is a dangerous business to use the name of God just to satisfy your carnal desire and to make money.

  9. WizardG

    Who are we, and what are we?
    There is a lot about ourselves that many of us fail to contemplate let alone understand, and of course there is denial and fantasy. We are “black” people without our country, (which part of Africa did your people come from and were they historically friendly to mine?), our language, our true culture, our foundation, our own religious beliefs, and we are trying to adjust even now in a country filled with four times the number of the very people who considered us fair trade slaves in the past. A great percentage of those people still consider us lesser people ( if not gorillas) and what is worst of all is we are assimilating and learning to be just like them because we have no other recourse, and to make matters even worse our men were castrated, burned, hung, and made to watch as their women (wives and daughters etc.) were raped sold and brutally abused. Our ancestors survived because they [did] assimilate, and they did accept the captor’s and en-slaver’s religious beliefs and our fathers did quietly take the vile abuses that were plied upon them. It is no wonder we have no decent foundation mental or otherwise!

    Some of us were fortunate enough to have gotten to this point with a modicum of intelligence, direction, and just plain luck in having a stronger family background, but the masses of our community are not only still under siege but suffering severe mental disorders, disorganized direction and a myriad of socioeconomic problems. Just to name a few of a multitude of idiosyncrasies.

    We are basing our way of life on a white man’s cultural norm. Everything that they have done, everything that they do, we are obliged to copy. This means that if they are serial killers eventually we become serial killers, if they are womanizers we are womanizers and finally if they hate blacks then we hate blacks. We have become white people in black skin! We love them and are like them but our skin color, untrained mannerisms (according to them), and slight cultural differences are some of the traits that they do not approve of, as they do not approve of us. The white men do however, approve of our women, and just as with all the other cultures and nations they have conquered and mastered, they wish to constantly show that they are superior to us in the eyes of our women and we are like them, we are their carbon copy, but they still control our lives, discriminate, dump drugs and alcohol, kill our leaders, and fill our heads with patriotic/social lies and bring down deceit upon us like rain. To them we are still their slaves (The prisons easily show that), And as for us. We have no way of recreating a true African community culture ( Many of us don’t like the idea of being African), and a cohesiveness that would give us economic and social power. Christianity is proving to not really work for us as African people! Although we would be as extinct as many Native Americans had they not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Therefore a preacher practicing a white man’s religion is bound to do the same as a priest in a catholic church who would molests nuns and children and rage war on non-believers, and so on and so on. In summation. Some of us will live enjoyable yet ignorant selfish lives and raise our children to do the same. But the masses will suffer because we have no direction and are a scatterbrained people!

  10. Richard Packard

    I agree with most of WizardG’s statement, espeicially the “summation”. I have been advocating for more than thirty years the need for black folk to wake up from their stupor and discuss, debate and develop a consensus about “their own” destiny. Trusting any man (regardless of his title) is a sure journey to nowhere. I challenge all black folk with the inclination to “do for oneself” to start in your “sphere of influence” and begin mentoring black youth (5yr-15yrs). We need to raise up a nation of black consciousness that encompasses integrity, honesty, self-worth, compassion, vision, intelligence and a commitment to a ‘higher intelligence’. We need to stop preaching to the choir about the shortcomings of our community, we already know the problems let us start applying the solutions. Mentoring our young is a good start and let us let the ‘ol dogs lie where they lay’. Let us also begin to “ostracize” those in our community who call themselves leaders and bring nothing but shame, humiliation, destruction and discord. Let us not “…cast our pearls before swine…” stop letting these sorry-ass people continue to bring our community down with their foolishness. Everyone who assumes a position of leadership has to know with a certainty that there is “consequences” for intentional wrongdoings and we are not going to tolerate bad behavior of any kind. This can become a starting point towards ‘nation building’ in the black community.

  11. WizardG, permit me to strongly disagree with you.
    Christianity is a universal religion. We Black Folks have come a long way! Our achievements are many. The future is bright. We need to pat ourselves at the back, say,”Well done, there is still a lot to be done”. We can not throw up our hands into the air and give up. Undoubtedly, we do have work to do. We are a work in progress. We need to reach out and down and help each other. If not us, who?

  12. newgirlintown

    I recommend that every reader to, please, read the posting by Wizard G. That is a superb commentary.

  13. Dr. Watkins, I appreciate the many enlightening articles that you write about the Black community. However, for me, your article about the Long/Cain situations has a strident tone and does not reflect your usual insightful reply that provides informative reading. I hear very strong disgust and condemnation,but…
    I read your articles so that I can personally grow. Where is the Boyce I regularly read? What can your audience learn from the way you have handled this topic.Most of us already know how disgusting the deceptive behavior that these men displayed is to humankind. What can I learn from this horrible situation? Where is the MORE that you usually give?


  15. Ms. Getting out the Vote for Obama

    Each commentator made a valid points in response to the Boyce commentary on Long and Cain. Both men represent a cultural trend that seems to be based in Atlanta for a 21st century theatrical immorality, which would have shammed our grandparents. They would have landed a slap on Long and Cain’ face , and a kick in their behinds that could be felt around the world. Canin and Long are no better than NeNe and the high heeled men on the Atlanta Housewives. White people are laughing their heads off at us. We have no other recourse, but to pray like Martin Luther King, Jr., organize, and vote Obama back into office with a landslide; so that we (African-American’s) can get the last laugh.

  16. Gwen

    Each person has an opinion as we are all entitled to. However, the more we voice our disgust and embrassment for the behavior of our brothers (yes, I said brothers) we must beware of falling into the same type of racial trap ourselves. Instead of uniting as a people to support and encourage more positive behavior, we have become like our mental oppressors in our ridicule of two of our own. Who are any of us to judge? Let he (or her) who is without sin cast the first stone. Sin is sin whether its public or not, it still will be judged by God and God alone.

    We all have our own issues to work out. If we didn’t our communities would not be in the shape they’re in. We each would be taking care of those in our own sphere of influence instead of being judge and jury to those who don’t follow our own particular ideas of right and wrong. The Bible is our only standard of living. It’s not a white man’s religion, it is our religion. As quiet as it is kept, Jesus was one of us. He was radical in his thinking and passionate about getting his point across. Where has our passion gone? To where have our biblically governed standards of living disappeared?

    WizardG was right in saying that we are becoming like our opressors in our way of thinking. We have forgotten the very basic princples that bought our freedom – prayer, meditation, and more prayer. Prayer will cleanse our hearts and minds from the wickedness that has engulfed us. Prayer will change our behavior in the way we see and treat one another. Prayer will allow us to give one another a hand up and not a voice of scorn. Prayer, study of the word, and a trust in God through Christ Jesus will deliver our people from the constant drama we now face. We need to stop imitating those who are not of our race and become what we know we should be – a people of righteous thinking, righteous living, and righteous being.

  17. CHERYL


  18. Thank you for your commentary. Very insightful and a much needed statement of clarity regarding the shameful actions of Herman Cain and Bishop Eddie Long.

  19. Shirlene Pryor

    I am told that Herman Cain has admitted to giving money to a woman continuously for more than ten years because the woman was in need and having financial difficulties. Now…. I s this the same Herman Cain that said that whhen people are not rich it their own fault????????
    What about this “Friend” (unknown to his wife) Why did he feel the need to help her maintain a more comfortable life style? WONDERS NEVER CEASE!!!

  20. Patsy

    I am beginning to wonder if Black men really appreciate Black women. I read the chapter yesterday of Magic Johnson’s autobiography where he talks in-depth about his relationship with his wife. My jaw dropped when I learned that he cancelled at least twice their engagement. It took at least twelve years of dating after he decided to marry her. I learned in his book that in a previous relationship he had a son. Before he married his wife he hardly showed her off to the press. His beautiful dark skin wife is a saint with everything she had to go through. I wonder if Magic Johnson would have behaved the same way with a White woman. I also question the fact that most Black celebrities marry very light skin women when they decide to not go outside their race. Michael Jordan is not with his beautiful wife anymore and he dated a White woman afterwards. We all know what happened with Lauren Hill recently. I could go on and on. You don’t see White men behaving like that. It makes me sick and honestly, I have many questions about the behavior of Black men without getting answers.

  21. Maxie

    Self-proclaimed men of God. that means they said they were men of God, God didn’t say they were men of God. We need to differentiate the two types. One is from a self centered view point, the other is from a divine view point.
    I never followed Eddie Long on TV, and I am glad I didn’t. If Long is a GOPer, then he is following in the same tradition as thw faux white Gop ministers (remember Haggard), who pretend to be God fearing men but are not. They say and do what they feel their congregation wants them to do and say.

    As for their wives, Gloria Cain is just plain stupid! As for mrs Long, she sounds conflicted. She may love her husband, but her husband loves boys. How bad is that?!! You love a man who has been cheating on you by raping young boys. Not something a wife wants to deal with or expects to have to deal with.
    Both sex with members of the same sex as you and sex with other women while married are a sin in God’s eyes. Is one worse than the other? By God’s standards, no. All sin, is a sin against him. by mans standard, sex with children, raping them, is worse. Lets not forget Gods ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts.

  22. Anne

    Both Long and Cain are like other folks in the GOP who set themselves up as morally superior, only to get outed for their transgressions and be hoisted on their own petards. In Cain’s case, his hypocrisy is on top of his outsize ego that led him to believe he could run for the presidency in spite of his monumental ignorance on national/global affairs, his lack of empathy for Americans down on their luck, his disrespect for women, and his readiness to throw Democratic-voting black folks under the bus to ingratiate himself with the Tea Partiers, whose “vision” for America is nothing I would ever embrace.

  23. Herman Cain is also a licensed and ordained minister, he is an Associate Minister of the Antioch Baptist Church of Atlanta. These two men Cain and Long are extremely bad examples for our young men with a desire to enter the clergy. I would suggest that they observed the many true men of God in their respective communities and use these two men as only an example of what not to do when you profess to follow God’s lead.

  24. The Quran says that none should be worshiped but Allah.Maybe hte people worshipped Bro.Long and Cain because they forgot that fact.There is one truth in this reply,none is perfect.As I once read,beware of the wolf in sheep,s clothing.

  25. Dr. E. Maxie Givner

    Now that you have expressed your disgust with these two black men, what’s your hang up? If either are guilty of their sins, God has already established judgment and they will be found out without any doubt on the Day of Judgment. Just love them and pray for their souls.

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