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. Alison

    "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."

    True conservative = a racist? A person that doesn't care about lower-income people? You got that right! I didn't vote for Obama because he's black. There was no guilt. I voted for him because he was the better pick and I'd really like to know where people got this idea that he was voted into office because he's black and his supporters felt guilty. McCain and that idiot VP candidate that he had would have run this country into the ground. You think it's bad now? HA! Put this guy in office and see what happens. I'll wave to you all from Canada. Every single GOP candidate is absolutely terrifying to anyone with half a brain.

    October 12, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. bill phillips

    I thought at first I had someone to vote for but he's making everything a race issue. We can't have a "racist" in the Whitehouse. Obama is looking better to me now.

    October 12, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Balls McGhee

    No he didnt!

    October 12, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Jennifer

    The irony? There are so many racists in the Republican/Tea Party he will NEVER get elected, but they sure do LOVE listening tohim spew racism with impunity (after all, a white candidate could never get away with this crap). So, some people who don't acknowledge their out-and-out racism may be supporting him, but those who would still lynch a black man will never vote for him. He can't carry the vote, period. Mr. Cain, your party still overwhelmingly hates your race. GET IT.

    October 12, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Dean

    "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," -----------------Amen.

    October 12, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    ►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 | ◄

    Typical coming from a “White” person – and if you’re not White, I apologize just on that but not for your statement.

    Whites from the RIGHT always seem to “love it” when a Black Man is “generalizing” about how “all other Black people” are racist against them!! This blogger agrees that “all” of Obama supporters are RACIST!! Racist against “who” is the question – other Blacks or Whites?? And, is that “racism?”
    I am so glad that President Obama has more class than Cain will ever have in his pinky. He proved that in his RACE speech and all during his campaign when he NEVER stated once that Whites were acting the way they were because they were “RACIST.” And truthfully, it was very obvious on many occasions that they were. This is the sole reason why Cain would NEVER be president of the “UNITED STATES” and the RIGHT will “use him” until they are DONE!!

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 12, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. edpeters

    With all due respect to Cain's parents, they obviously sheltered the poor boy way too much. I don't think he has any idea of what the black movement in the US was all about (and is still about)! And I've got to say that another teacher (more than one?) has failed in their duty to educate..

    October 12, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. ThinkAgain

    @Marlon: "This is ridiculous. Blacks did not bash Powell for being a Conservative."

    Ah, but Marlon, you are thinking that the American public has a longer-term memory than that of a gnat. Cain, like all Republicans, is counting on people engaging in the selective memory/rationalization/denial of reality required to vote Republican.

    October 12, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. S.R.

    This guy is an idiot.........end of story!!!

    October 12, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. Jason

    I know I'm not hearing this anti-gay lunatic talk about other people being bigoted.

    October 12, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Chris

    Why the hell does anyone care about this fool?????

    October 12, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. wishing

    This man doesn't present an impressive picture for the pizza company who hired him, and the Fed Board that appointed him. What he is suggesting isn't racism, it isn't even reverse racism, it is self racism. Herman is in the wrong field. He seems more a psychiatrist than a politician or businessman.

    October 12, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Dave Chappelle says

    Clayton Bigsby would be proud... XD

    October 12, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  14. ThinkAgain

    @RWB1956: We need to hear something from these candidates that unites us as Americans, not sow intolerance among us.

    This has been the Republican strategy ever since President Obama was elected, because they've got nothing to offer our country except the same economic, military and foreign policies which are ALL PROVEN FAILURES. This, coupled with every waking breath dedicated to making President Obama and our country fail, is all they've got.

    Voters have a very clear choice come November 2012: Be a fool and vote Republican or use your brain and vote Democratic.

    October 12, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. Marjee123

    And the lower he sinks in the campaign the louder he is going to yell racism. He is using his race as a crutch. I bet the older black Americans would like to punch this guy in the snoot. He doesn't appreciate what they and the Democratic party has done for him. If it wasn't for all the Marches in which Democrats stood side by side with the blacks, and the bills that were passed by LBJ.....a Democratic president........where in Hades name would Cain be right now.

    October 12, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. Mike

    That's it- from now on I call this guy "McCain Lite". Even though he lost, McCain was by far a better candidate than any of these wannabees. Too bad that Palin thing ruined his chances.

    October 12, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Rnorman

    Personally, I want to switch to the Canadian way of elections - candidates have six weeks to get their views across; they must be able to back up any claims made against opponents or be slapped with a defamation lawsuit; six weeks and it's done; that really doesn't give time for all this mud-slingling, back stabbing, and other NON-ISSUES rhetoric!!

    October 12, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Ranterdon

    Problem for many is when Cain speaks the TRUTH no matter how much kool aid they drink in the back of their minds they KNOW he's right....this is what scares the Dems the most...

    October 12, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Chris Honry

    SO GOOD TO SEE SOMEONE WITH THE GUTS TO SPEAK THE TRUTH! GO CAIN! SOLUTION for you unemployed: go out and actually LOOK for a job! There are plenty out there, you just expect to get one you are not qualified for and not skilled for- work the job you can get, go to school and earn the job you want like the REST OF US.

    October 12, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. ThinkAgain

    "...[we] 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."

    No, President Obama was elected by people (Liberals, Independents and moderate Republicans) because we paid attention to him during his 20-month campaign, read his books, say the interviews and debates and voted for his policies, temperament and character.

    All of which have kept our country moving forward, despite all the effort on the part of the Republicans to make him and our country fail.

    October 12, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. MARY

    The Dem party wants blacks to blame white people, so they can keep blacks voting as dems. black leaders are doign well using blacks, and telling them vote dem, its all about black and white liberal elites who need to keep blacks in the dem parrty, by playing the race game all the time,

    October 12, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. dean

    I hope this guy wins the nomination. Oh God, please let him win!!! OBAMA2012

    October 12, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Stuck

    My brother speaks the truth. Sometimes our race is used as an excuse for a variety of things.

    October 12, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. Stuck

    Why is it that when a black man stands up and insists that greatness is within reach, and that race is not a true barrier...he is labeled an Uncle Tom? I support the strength our brother Cain has shown.

    October 12, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. Greg

    IF Cain gets the GOP nomination, it will be Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. Dubois all over again... two ways to obtain the American dream, through hard work or education. The problem with some is that they are not willing to try either... while the high-minded scream "water, water, send us water," Herman Cain is simply saying "cast down your bucket where you are!"

    October 12, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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