Cain charges some in black community of racism
October 11th, 2011
05:51 PM ET
3 years ago

Cain charges some in black community of racism

(CNN) – GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain said Tuesday that many liberal Democrats in the black community are "racist" for questioning his political ambitions as a black conservative Republican.

"A lot of these liberal, leftist folk in this country, that are black, they're more racist than the white people that they're claiming to be racist," Cain said Tuesday in a radio interview on the conservative Neal Boortz talk show.

Boortz interrupted Cain, saying he prefers the word "bigoted" to "racist."

"Ok, bigoted," Cain said. "How dare Herman Cain, first, run as a Republican? How dare Herman Cain be conservative? And how dare he move up in the polls, so that he just might challenge our beloved Obama? That's the problem they have."

Cain's comments came just hours before a New Hampshire debate, where Cain, who's surged to top tier status in the presidential race, is expected to take the heat from other candidates now that he's assumed front-runner status.

In the interview Tuesday, he also said that in a hypothetical matchup between he and President Barack Obama, there would "almost be no contest" and argued that he could talk about issues more in depth than Obama.

"He's never been part of the black experience in America," Cain said. "I can talk about that. I can talk about what it really meant to be 'po' before I was poor."

The Republican candidate came under fire recently for saying African Americans are generally on a level playing field with other Americans and sometimes use racism as an excuse for being poor.

"They weren't held back because of racism," Cain told CNN's "State of the Union" anchor Candy Crowley. "People sometimes hold themselves back because they want to use racism as an excuse for them not being able to achieve what they want to achieve."

His comments kicked off a wave of responses from high-profile African American leaders, who argue Cain is out of touch with reality.

"There are disparities in this country in every [socioeconomic] factor that we follow. In every aspect of our human endeavors in this country there is a racial disparity element that's a part of it. It's almost silly to respond to [Cain] because the evidence is so overwhelming," PBS host Tavis Smiley said in the interview with CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux on Monday.

– CNN's Diana Ozemebhoya contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (614 Responses)
  1. logic in LA

    This man is so divisive. It's so good to see that these debates show the candidates for what they are.

    October 11, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  2. Roco1957

    I don't know if he is out of touch or playing up to those who may vote for him. Being Black in America and having achieved the "American Dream" to a certain degree, there have been many racial disparities along the way. In some cases, overly blatant actions. For Cain to say that Blacks use racism as an excuse for not achieving is outright crazy. It existed then; it exists now and it will exist later.

    October 11, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  3. 1968american

    as an african american i would like to inform readers, both black and non black, that there is not a single black experience. yes, we often go through some of the same things but being black in america is an individually unique experience and no one can debate on which african american had the true experience. with that said, i think it would be wonderful if cain was the gop candidate for 2012 b/c of the positive influence it would have on the perception of black men and i also respect the man for being self-made. my only problem with cain are the generalizations he makes about his own race, which does makes him seem out of touch.

    October 11, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  4. GreenieInPA

    I guess Cain and Cosby have no idea what they are talking about. Riiiiiiiiight.

    October 11, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  5. Cary Brown

    Work, achieve what you desire, and quit asking for free stuff based on race. Work. Work. Work. Cain for President!

    October 11, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  6. jesse

    Cain tells it like it is. people hate that

    October 11, 2011 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  7. xpxpxp

    A black claiming racism??? SHOCKING!!

    Cain has no problem saying people are racist, but won't defend Romney's religion. Classy.

    October 11, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  8. William

    If blacks are ever going anywhere in this country they have to start thinking for themselves and stop acting like sheep. Obama has them all snowed and they'll follow him right off a cliff. Herman Cain speaks the truth, and has absolutely no reason not to speak the truth. He's not for the white folks and not for the black folks....he's for the hard workers of this country....it just makes him upset as it does so many conservatives to see blacks vote for Obama just because he's black. So regardless of color, if you work hard and are against those who want free rides, you'd better take a closer look at this man.

    October 11, 2011 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. Liz the First

    This man is delusional. And the fact that he's gaining so much popularity shows just how dumb the republican voters are. He has no experience that would prepare him for the toughest job in the world. the arrogance of this man to think he can start at the top in government just because he achieved some success in the business world. these two fields do not compare. no republican't would be good but at least the others have some experience in government. if someone came to Cain's office who'd never made a pizza or a business decision in his life and wanted to take his place at the top of his pizza business, he'd laugh the guy out of his office. this joke needs to be laughed out of the campaign. and no, people aren't racist for being liberal and believing in Obama, they're just smart!

    October 11, 2011 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  10. wolfewalk

    Mr Cain should be ashamed of himself for bad mouthing black people so he can please his conservative masters...

    October 11, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. wade

    Oh Please like everyone in America didn't already know there are blacks that are racist just like there are some whites that are racist. It is racist to assume there would not be blacks that are racist. They are Human too and as such are far from perfect.

    October 11, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  12. Sean D

    The sooner Cain is gone, the better. He seems to be trying make the most of what will be a short campaign, to divide this Country by doing the dirty work of the tea Party and Fox news – spinning tired tired... I mean TIRED stereo types! Can he go a DAY without bashing black people? May be news to many, but he is not the only person of color who has made it, and a great majority of us, DON"T bash our community once we do. We try to help, not criticize. I find his rhetoric offensive and annoying.

    October 11, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  13. Freygunnr

    "People sometimes hold themselves back because they want to use racism as an excuse for them not being able to achieve what they want to achieve... many liberal Democrats in the black community are "racist" for questioning [my] political ambitions..." Rephrased: Don't use racisim as an excuse for your faliures but these racists are trying to make me fail! -Herman Cain, Author of the new book "When Racism is Convenient For Me But Not For You"

    October 11, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  14. unclesam

    100% agree with him, but he is not going o get my vote

    October 11, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  15. Bionikwmn

    This is going to be one crazy Republican presidential race.

    October 11, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  16. Ray in Vegas

    I won't be voting for Herman Cain, but I agree with what he is saying regarding conservative black politiians and bigoted liberals (not just black people).

    October 11, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  17. Numyorangay

    "Ok, bigoted," Cain said. "How dare Herman Cain, first, run as a Republican? How dare Herman Cain be conservative? And how dare he move up in the polls, so that he just might challenge our beloved Obama? That's the problem they have."

    SPIN!

    October 11, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  18. Freygunnr

    And, my final insult: Herman, you are making Bachmann sound substantive.

    October 11, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  19. Ryan A - Sarasota

    I see Herman Cain's star falling after this debate.

    October 11, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  20. Numyorangay

    "Ok, bigoted," Cain said. "How dare Herman Cain, first, run as a Republican? How dare Herman Cain be conservative? And how dare he move up in the polls, so that he just might challenge our beloved Obama? That's the problem they have." Wrong again Herman Koon. . .trying to get sympathy from the folks you wish you were? Challenge Obama. . .and another thing. . .you still PO!

    October 11, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  21. mike

    It is so very depressing and sad that when an African American is as successful in business as Cain the first thing he feels necessary to do is disassociate himself from his own race. He could have taken the upper road and said that despite being African American , despite the many pitfalls that racissm puts in front of African Americans he was exceptionally lucky, blessed in the many successes he has enjoyed. Instead he elects to tear down those who preceded him and those who laid the ground work so he "DID" have a path to go. The African American community has many, many achievments to their credit and honor Hermin Cain is not one of them

    October 11, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  22. Temi

    If blacks are racist for questioning Cain's conservative positions, is not Cain being racist in saying to be authentically black one must grow up poor?

    October 11, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  23. donald

    So, why is he sreaming about black people being racist. Frankly, I could care less waht this maggot calls himself because at the end of the day he's nothing but a 24 carat fraud. Maybe a noose around his nrck will bring him back to reality.

    October 11, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  24. Georgia Tee

    It's not that some in the black community are racist, it's clear that the black & brown community don't believe those cow chips he's been throwing, NOBODY is bringing up race, except Cain, then he gets stupid when he gets a negative response...He believes bad press is good press for him...In three months reality will delivery a 9.99 cold pizza with extra idiot on it !

    October 11, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  25. Terry

    A Republican proposing a tax increase on the Middle Class and Poor. A 9% National Sales Tax is a tax increase on the working class, and the total lose within the Cain Plan, of Federal Tax Revenue, is 18% across the board. Mr. Cain needs to go back to school, or hire a real economist for his team. Let the Poor and Middle Class eat pizza!

    October 11, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
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