Cain charges some in black community of racism
October 11th, 2011
05:51 PM ET
7 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. Trey

    Cain's right, Obama doesn't know what it's like to be a real black man in America. Obama isn't a real black.

    October 12, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  2. Aduzi

    The color of Cain's skin or anyone's skin for that matter, has nothing to do with trust in their ability to do what is right for the country. It is the track record of the Republican Party members and their lust for money and power that sways one not to vote for them.

    October 12, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  3. Iseeclearly

    The black community know who they are and what's better for them,
    Cain you think for yourself and let the American public do the same.

    October 12, 2011 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  4. Vigla

    I've just about heard enough from this buffoon Cain. He has become the elitist, uncaring conservative that define the resto of them. Something I heard last night is definately true...conservatives hate people. They like caricatures...people that are undefined. But when you face reality and have to dig deep into the plight of the average person, they could give a rat's behind. If anyone typifies that sentiment, it's Cain, who has already alienated the black community with his rhetoric designed to get white Republican votes. I'm sick of listening to his jibberish.

    October 12, 2011 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  5. aceeboy

    An indistingusihable line can exist when trying to determine whether racism or nepotism played a role in you not getting that position you know with a doubt you were well qualified for. Granted, there may be several qualified candidates interviewing for the same position but the questioning begins when the chosen person, if not from outside the company, is known to be less qualifed then yourself. But it is clear cut racism whenever denial, in various situations, from an institution or individual is based on them looking at the habits associated with your ethinical background instead of what you bring to the table. Mr. Cain was/is a smart businessman who wants to be an elected politician so nothing he says offends me personally since he doesn't have the political support of this black liberal anyway. But I still respect the man for his accomplishments and whatever else he had to overcome during his black experience in America which, in case he doesn't realize it, hasn't ended.

    October 12, 2011 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  6. Ken

    Most of the problems in the Black community today are self inflicted upon themselves, their children and the Black community as a whole.

    October 12, 2011 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  7. A. Harris

    As an educated and politically-aware liberal American who happens to be African-American, I have to admit that Herman Cain's presidential run is, frankly, disappointing. I'm not disappointed because he's a republican, or that he claims to be conservative, but because he's focusing much of his campaign on diagnosing "the problem" with the African-American public that opts not to support him. I think he's losing sight of the battle: his run should not be about race, the "brain-washing" of the public from which he (believe it or not) comes, or even who is or isn't opposing Obama. His run is about the issues, and his consistent and constant commentary on what "they think" (problematic grouping of any cohort of people according to race, creed, color, religious background or other) is precisely what will lose him the vote. Putting this man in office is no better than reinstating Jim Crow, because it is that generalist mentality that has proven to be so dangerous for, both, people of color and the socioeconomically disadvantaged (read: lower and middle class communities as a whole) in the course of American history.


    October 12, 2011 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  8. Aduzi

    The color of Cain's skin or anyone's skin for that matter, has nothing to do with trust in their ability to do what is right for the country. It is the track record of the Republican Party members and their lust for money and power that sways one not to vote for them.

    October 12, 2011 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  9. Mark

    Herman Cain....fool, devisive and anti-Christian. Maybe his problem is that he doesn't think he's black. He obviously has led a charmed life void of the critisism and bigotry others have had to deal with.

    October 12, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  10. EJ

    Give 'em hell Herman!!! We like you because you're a true conservative and don't care what color your, or anyone elses skin color is, as opposed to liberals who have guilt that put Barry in to office.

    October 12, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  11. Charles

    I like Cain. He speaks the truth.

    October 12, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  12. sheila

    Mr. Cain,

    If you know what it is to be "po", one would think you'd be a bit more understanding of the needs of "po" people. Instead you're bashing "po" people and not coming up with any solutions for these people. You seem to have the magic formula to overcome being "po". Why don't you share that with the "po" people instead of blaming them for their situation. Yes there are some that are "po" because they lack initiative, but the majority of "po" black and white people have fallen on hard times and telling them to pull up their bootstraps, get over it, is not working. They need help. What is your plan to help them.

    October 12, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  13. RWB1956

    This is only my opinion: It seems that Mr. Cain is a perfect Tea Party candidate. Able to run down all black people with stereotypes and insinuations and can "get away" with it because he is black. And SOME people take his word for gospel. Not every black person is looking for a handout and not every white person is a bigot. We needto hear something from these candidates that unites us as Americans, not sow intolerance among us.

    October 12, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  14. IndyNC

    In short he says "If you disagree with me or think I'm a sell out, you must be racist"

    No, I think he's an arrogant idiot, reguardless of the color of his skin.

    October 12, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  15. jt_flyer

    back in the day he'd be called an Oreo Cookie.

    October 12, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  16. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Cain is making the classic "strawman" argument preferred by many weak thinkers. In particular, he's created a pretend class of people that he claims, without proof, are saying "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 is not what people are saying. What they are saying is that it is ridiculous to claim that African-Americans are "brainwashed" (Cain's own words) to vote Dem, when in fact they are simply observing the GOBP's racial pandering and correctly observing that the Dems better serve their interests. Cain is simply another sloppy thinker from the GOBP deathcult's rich crop of intellectually and morally bankrupt candidates.

    October 12, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  17. Peace

    Is this man in to win it or to lose it? In his mind does he think eliminating the black bloc he can even smell where the white house is located?? Is he aware why did GOP at the first place, picked Michael Steele as their chairman?? Way to go Mr. Herb!

    October 12, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  18. diridi

    his brain is filled with Pizza. Blacks are more racial than truth...o.k,,

    October 12, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  19. once upon a horse

    Mr Cain knows EXACTLY what he is's called "playing to the choir" he is telling the far right base that supports him what they like to hear. What could be better than have a black man say that black people are racists? They LOVE it!! Mr Cain has to know that basically most black people are CONSERVATIVE when it comes to family, religion but moreso open minded when it comes to social issues. Cain is doing exactly what others like Allen West, Alan Keyes, Mike Steele, and of course Clarence Thomas have done to please the far right. Black conservatives always have to seem to appear to be against certain so-called minority causes just to make a statment that they are "not like the others" (wink-wink)

    October 12, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  20. KRG

    Cain is a total HOT HEAD. Just saw him on GAM and he was extremely rude. This guy has no clue and that whole comment he made about a week ago about people blaming themselves for not having a job was just insensitve. Cain might be best going back to making pizzas.

    October 12, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  21. GetErDonee

    Cain is the man. Un-bama 2012 – go Cain!

    October 12, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  22. bryce

    He's right about one thing – an election betwenn Cain and Obama would be no contest. Here's hoping that the GOP selects Cain as their candidate, because that would guarantee another 4 years for Obama. Of course, any sane person can see that's not going to happen, but they're making a good show of it ("see, we're not racist!").

    October 12, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    Just how is the President not part of the black experience in America? Cain is very good at throwing out accusations, but he is lousy at producing actual proof. The question he needs to answer is, as a successful businessman, what has he done to show blacks a way out? I've not heard of any scholarships he has sponsored, any speaking engagements where he has encouraged young black kids to stay in school, get a degree and embrace the values he was raised with. Cain seems far more interested in attacking people without being part of the solution, and catering to a wealthy elite he embraces with far more vigor than the community he came from. What has he been doing, besides blathering on the air about topics he really has no grasp of? He is a wannabee. The President turned down lucrative offers from law firms to go and help a community: that is more American than anything this idiot could ever hope to accomplish. I will take the person who chooses service over the one who embraces greed, then accuses others of not working hard enough, every single time.

    October 12, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  24. SadState

    What a sad and dangerous little man!

    October 12, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Thank you Mr Cain! Because if I said that I would be called a racist.

    October 12, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
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