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. EndofanError2012

    This man is speaking the truth and all you liberals can't take it. Minorities in this country get more for free than anyone else and it's no one fault but their own if they don't do anything with it. Poor white people don't get these handouts but many seem to be able to get ahead in life because they don't play the victim at every turn. Black people can do whatever white people do, they are just as smart and just as talented but they are held down by leaders who push them to hate white people and to blame white people for everything. The Dem party will do whatever is has to do to keep black people down to guarantee their votes. It's sickening. Many black people assume all whites are racist and many white people assume all black people hate them and this is exactly what the liberals want.

    October 12, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. ram111

    This is really more of a MIND SET argument than a RACIST argument. Some people, mostly wealthy, but even some who aren't, don't want to or can't admit that the reason they got where they are in life has at least SOME elements of luck involved. They either believe that their success was all due to hard work or that somehow they believed in God more or in a better way than others and that they were BLESSED. Anyone else who hasn't been able to achieve what they have been able to achieve – it's either because they didn't work as hard or because their faith wasn't as strong. These people tend to become REPUUUUBLICANS. They tend to think more in black and white (no pun intended) and don't think deeply enough to realize that no matter how strong your faith or how hard you work, some people just don't end up in the right place at the right time. Why? Because life isn't fair. That's just the way it goes. And since they don't believe luck has anything to do with anything, they don't have to feel hypocritical for feeling no sympathy for people who were unfortunate enough to not have their lives 'aligned with the stars'. Sure there are people who make excuses. Sure there are people who are lazy or don't pull their weight. But there are also people who are so weighed down by life that they can't pull themselves up by their boot straps anymore. And to cast them off to the wind because you can't relate to them is wrong (not to mention it's anti-Christian! - does the word hypocrit come to mind?)

    October 12, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. sara

    Just look at the comments from the racist "anything" but the black race on this story. It doesn't have to have validity, just a 'race baiter". Is it fair to say that Cain is throwing Red Meat to the "vile, ignorant underbelly of our society". Is it to push for the Repbulcian party to remain as it is. It has to be, afterall, the very people who he's "playing" with will never elect him for anything, except of course the biggest idiot of the campaign. Shame on him.

    October 12, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. once upon a horse

    Herman Cain for some reason gets away with playing this race thing FAR more than Obama ever would. He has to contantly remind us that he is Black.....even one time claiming he was a REAL Black man. If Obama had played this race card as much in 2008 McCain or Clinton would more than likely be POTUS right now.

    October 12, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Dave

    The only people who care about Herman Cain's race are liberals.

    October 12, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. Jillequi Mystere

    The liberal agenda requires there to be racial or economic conflict. What Cain says is absolutely true.

    October 12, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Ahahahah23

    Dan, so our president is "racist" against whites while simultaenously being like Hitler (a white supremacist). I guess you need to cover your bases.

    October 12, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Kadee4News

    Mr. Cain, you could stand up against Obama and you could definitely out debate him or out anything him for that matter!! You Sir, are what this country needs. A realist, someone who is not afraid to tell it like it is, and someone who tells the truth. Someone who does not care what others think, regardless of race, color of skin, or whatever. Mr. Cain, you are not crazy or any of the ridiculous things people are saying. You're intelligent, honest, hard working, confident, etc and those that dismiss you just cannot handle the truth. People cannot handle the truth you know.

    October 12, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. BCA

    Surprising for a man who chucked the race card at Perry to say this now. I agree with his view that the playing field has been leveled (more so now in their favor than anyone else's), and that they're generally taking the easy way out by shouting racist. Unfortunately for Mr. Cain, I don't consider Obama to be "black" at all. He's more white than I am to start with. If all he has to offer us is a blackness match up next fall, I won't be voting for him. I think his economics plan sucks.

    October 12, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Atul Chaudhary

    I apologize for making this statement but that is my personal experience too. I am brown and I have faced more racism at the hands of blacks than whites.

    Having said that one cannot generalize because of some lunatics.This is my guess. I think this is one of their rare opportunities they have to prove other party that they are more American than some of us. They have been dominated for centuries. When they do it, they feel empowered.

    Two wrongs does not make it right. Once people get more education, they tend to rise above all these biases.

    October 12, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. nlemmon

    What a "horrible article!" Go Cain, go Cain!

    October 12, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. Politburo

    Remember folks, by conservative standards this is "playing the race card". Let's see how quickly he gets called on it (I wouldn't hold your breath).

    October 12, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. FactCheck

    If there is one thing worse than a fool, it is a fool with an ego.

    October 12, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. FactCheck

    I fully agree with Mr. Cain. It's a shame that the Dems and Libs have the blacks bamboozled to think that they actually have their best interest at hand.

    Oh yes, we all know that nitwits like you are the ones who are looking out for their best interests.

    October 12, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. Lisa

    I would really like Cain to elaborate on what he means by his statement "[Obama] has never been part of the black experience in America." I sincerely hope this is not an illusion to the fact that Obama is bi-racial, or has been blessed with many talents and accolades (all earned). Although we are tied with common history and the current state of racial affairs, there is no single "black experience in America." No race is monolithic. I really wish people would stop trying to lump us all into the same alleged tragic experience. By the grace of God, I have never been considered poor, I have an advanced degree, own two homes, have a stable professionally licensed job, and am a contributing member of my society. Having been poor or being poor doesn't make you any "blacker" than Obama or any other black person in this country. Minotrities have been trying to get the majority to see us as a group of diverse people from diverse backgrounds and diverse experiences. Suggesting there is a common "black experience" further divides our race and culture and hinders thoughful and productive discussions regarding racial progress in America. From one black American to another, shame on you Mr. Cain.

    October 12, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Nash

    GOP's little errand ***. Go fetch *** when it's all said and done Obama will still have been the first Black President hate him or love him. Little people like Cain will still be licking their wounds from self inflicted wounds.

    October 12, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. tv22

    Cain is a job creator. That is his greatest offense, he gives people the opportunity to work and not be a ward of the government whereas the people calling him "racist" are people who derive their power from people being dependent on government.

    When we are at the point where someone who is for freedom, making your own way and rising out of humble beginnings to corporate success is seen not as a role model for people, but as somehow being an "uncle Tom".

    October 12, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Bill

    For a man who likes to dismiss racism as a problem in this country, he sure likes to invoke it to discredit his critics. Maybe they criticize him simply because he's wrong. Has Cain supported his views with the same socioeconomic factors cited by his critics or is he simply generalizing from his own experiences? Perhaps if all African-Americans owned a chain of pizza restaurants, racism would cease being a problem.

    October 12, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. Brian

    Bigot??? This coming from a man who in a public forum stated he would do additional investigation for any muslim applying for a job at one of his companies. Then when asked again to clearify that he would investigate muslims more then Cathlics, Jewish, or Christians. He replied "absolutely". Now I am not for suing people for stupidity but how does this man have a dime left. If I were a muslim who ever put in a application for any of his companies and was turned down, I would go straight to a lawyer and take this man for every dime he has. He US needs to be about equality for all races and religions.

    October 12, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. JustMe

    Actually no Dan, I don't agree with you, because HC does not speak the truth. His 999 plan is a fraud and would raise taxes on everyone but the ultra wealthy plus it would increase the deficit and would at best be revenue neutral not to mention that every leading economist (from both political parties) has panned this plan saying it would be bad for the economy. Just pull up his record at PolitiFact and you'll see how little he tells the truth.

    October 12, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. Rugid

    Herman Cain is now saying he knows what it's like to be black but just a few days ago he was asked what it was like to be in Atlanta during the Civil Rights era and he said that he was never a part of it. So Herman Cain is nothing more than a typical candidate that will say anything to get ahead. He has no idea what it's like to be black since he was never a part of the black experience. Herman Cain is calling the black community racist when last week he called us brainwashed. He's so out of touch with the black community he makes Romney look like a brotha.

    October 12, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. TrueBeliever

    CAIN FOR PRESIDENT. EVERY TIME I HEAR HIM SPEAK, I LIKE HIM MORE AND MORE. Funny how liberals don't like what he says.... It's okay for them to say whatever they want, but someone speaks the truth and they are all up in arms. Get a clue. The only prejudice that is politically correct is to be against whites and Christians. I call that racist and bigotry.

    October 12, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. FIREL1stSGT

    Alex in Wisconsin – Please tell me your term of racist does not just apply when a white person uses it. How about you or your race bashing someone of another race. That's quite alright isn't it? GADS.

    October 12, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. Jonathan

    Cain speaks the truth. Yes, I'd like to hear a plan to create more jobs here in the U.S., but the people that I know that are still unemployed are lazy and have little to no common sense. The folks that I know are also white. Laziness comes in all colors, but the race card is typically only pulled by one race. It is time for people to quit hiding behind their skin color as an excuse for not getting ahead. All races need to face it, it is because you're lazy or it is because you don't have the common sense to overcome your perceived "the man is against me" attitude. You're better at complaining than you are at doing a good job at work. The vast majority of people of all skin colors with some initiative have a job. The problem now is jobs that people have done all their lives may not be available anymore. Time to retrain and retool and show some get up and go. You also must humble yourself because you may not bring in as much cash as you were used to.

    October 12, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Jesse in Maryland

    Why not, it's worked for Obama and his liberal supporters for years now!

    While I don't think Cain will get the nomination, it would be fun to see the media try to figure out how to attack Cain after spending the last four years building up the notion that criticizing a black politician is racist at its core.

    October 12, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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