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. Carlos

    Cain, you are a DISGRACE for black people of this country as Clarence Thomas is...Pity!

    October 11, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  2. Jacob

    Glad to hear someone finally had the guts to say it how it really is.

    October 11, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  3. David

    Herman Cain is so out of touch with reality. Racism is alive and well in America, just look at the last election. The majority of white America did not vote for him. It will be the same this next election too. With unemployment reaching 20% in many inner city areas, we will have more riots and unrest. Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan will hurt them even further. Go back to your pizzas and let Obama do his job

    October 11, 2011 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  4. Polecat1

    Some blacks just handle the truth.... Even when it comes from a black man. Kudos to Cain for being a realist and not succumbing to the PC nonsense that continues to destroy our Nation. A man the can speak honestly and openly about the issues we are faced with today, is the Leader this Country needs. Tell it like it is I say, and Cain has this quality.

    October 11, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  5. Lenny Pincus

    Yeah, right. The damage done by left wing racist "folks" is so much greater than right wing racism.

    October 11, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  6. MiGrant

    Oh yes, here we go again..! It's the "I'm blacker than you are!" attack of playing the race card...
    Cain is just a loud-mouthed, small-minded, typical conservative...he cares nothing for his fellow men...only for his own ambitions...He's full of hot air....nothing more...

    October 11, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  7. jaded1219

    Well, he's sure to lose the black vote if he keeps this up...ironic.

    October 11, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  8. pjoesmith

    It's about time a major political candidate stated the truth about racism. Good job Mr. Cain.

    October 12, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  9. Name

    is he serious. really. at sometime in Herman Cain life he experienced some form of discrimination if not racism I am almost sure of that. I think he needs to be more realistic. dont classify everyone the same.

    October 12, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  10. Michael

    ""They weren't held back because of racism," "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."
    Finally, someone said it.

    October 12, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  11. P.Cooper

    I thought Herman Cain said racism didn't still exist in this country. Herman, you can't have it exist for a point you're trying to point out and disregard it for everything else. It doesn't work that way.

    October 12, 2011 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  12. Little Jimmy Truth

    I strongly agreed with Herman Cain.

    October 12, 2011 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  13. fernace

    Herman Cain is too busy kissing up to his GOP-TP to be aware of what people go through to get anywhere in this country! His experience is not the norm & is in fact used by his party to point out that they aren't bigots! What excactly does he know about our Presidents experience as not just a Black man, but a racially mixed person? For Herman Cain to say that Black people, his own ethnic group, hold themselves back from achieving succsess is ludicrous! Americans of all ethnic backgrounds work harder than most people on this planet& I have not known any of my Black friends to be lazy!! They are out there working OT without pay, despite the racism they may encounter! I truly admire that& they tell me it's just a part of "being Black, no big deal!" Seems like Mr. Cain is the person out of touch here, because I never thought that I, as a White person would ever have to defend my Black friends from a Black man!!

    October 12, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  14. Cynthia

    If this jerk has never been a part of the "Black experience in America", then what qualifies him to make ANY statement about what African Americans think about him or "Our beloved Obama". How would he know? Every time he opens his mouth, he only has derogatory insults against African Americans. Whose the bigot here? Why is he only attacking the African American community. Why would any community of people black, white, red or yellow listen to anything he has to say when the only thing he does is insult them.

    October 12, 2011 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  15. Alex in Wisconsin

    He's saying that black people are racists against black people. Sounds stupid, i know but Mr. Cain may be right. Case and point, a black man might be considered racist against black people if he puts down the black community as a whole by saying they are brainwashed. A black man might be considered racist against black people if he tells the rest of America that Racism isn't really holding anyone back despite all the numbers to the contrary... nah, Mr. Cain is wrong. Black people are allowed to be critical of members of their community. That's not racism, that's intra-community debate and its just stupid for Mr. Cain to imply racism by those within his own race against him. Sorry, now and for the forseeable future, Black people will line up against conservatives because conservatives don't really care about the black community that much. Don't believe me? Ask why Mr. Cain is going out of his way to belittle the black community. Yes Mr. Cain, It's clearly my fault for being born black, lower middle class and It's clearly my fault that I haven't made my millions already. But I'm a graduate student. What would you have me do differently at this point?

    October 12, 2011 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  16. The Lone Okie

    Àlexander Hamilton had some Black in him.The 2nd President of Mexico was Black. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson fathered slave children and don't forget about segreationist Strom Thurman.

    October 12, 2011 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  17. FIELE1st SGT

    Thank you Mister Cain. I am glad to finally see that a African American of class recognize how racist Obama's supporter are.

    October 12, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  18. TB

    Uncle Herb doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of being the GOP nominee, let alone being elected President...

    October 12, 2011 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  19. Woody

    Tell it like it is Herman. Put out the effort and anyone can succeed. Quit blaming others for your own failures. Don't wait for someone to give you a job, create your own job. This is America! You are in control of your own destiny.

    October 12, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  20. Robrob

    "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,"

    You want to see "racism?" Just wait till his GOP "friends" start tearing him apart.

    October 12, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  21. Max Thunderdome

    Cain should run as a White candidate to end any discussion about race. Yes, that's right. He should consider himself as a dark skinned white person with a black complexion. Therefore, he can ignore any questions about race since he thinks it is not relevant and should consider any questions about race as being irrelevant. If asked about his race, he should say I am an American without a race or what race do you think I am? Better yet, he can say: I am a Black skinned Octoroon.

    Cain should not be concerned about what Blacks think of him but what he can do for the Country

    James Brown and I can say this: Say it Loud, I am Black and Proud.

    October 12, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  22. BeverlyNC

    Cain has no character or sense of dignity or class. He is just a Republican tool. Does he really think the current very racist Republican Party would EVER let a black man be their candidate????? Surely he is not that stupid. Maybe he is like Palin – just dong this so he can make some money off of it. Republicans hate all non-white, non-rich people. They are elitists who think we should serve them – not their job they were elected to do which is SERVE the PEOPLE – ALL THE PEOPLE. Republicans are clueless and live in a non-real world stuck in the past. They are NOT leaders and they ALL need to be removed from office so Democrats can pass legislation to help this country and actually govern.

    October 12, 2011 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  23. frida

    I really don't think Cain is running to win by making all this crazy comments.

    October 12, 2011 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  24. Ptruely

    Don't you know you can't say that, Mr. Cain? The use of the "R" and "N" words are both socially acceptable to utter only if you have two qualifying characteristics. You, sir, are a conservative. You are, therefore, disqualified.

    October 12, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  25. Curtis

    Yeah, if a person is a Dem. pretty much anything can be said. If any person that's a Rep. says anything remotely dealing with race he/she's automatically a racist. I've always said that there are more racist black people than white. NOTE, I did not say all black people are racist. I've also heard this from many a black person as well. Not saying they are experts either, just an observation.

    October 12, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
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