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. whatever next?

    So one minute he says that things are exactly the same for black americans as every other american, the next he says Obama doesn't understand the unique black american experience.
    Which is it?
    Because it can't be both.

    October 11, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. Kenny

    WOW Republicans found their Front man in Herman Cain. This guy will say anything they want him to say to get elected. Bless his "PO" soul.

    October 11, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. Greg

    "He's [Obama] never been part of the black experience in America," Cain said.

    Cain really is out of touch.

    He's like the biblical Cain, trying to strike down a brother out of jealousy.

    October 11, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. bicyclist1977

    Herman Cain is the only racist with an accepted national platform right now. It is so sad that he is a black man. He is being used. He can say the negative stereotypical statements that some whites want to say, but feel they can't because they might get accused of racism or racial stereotyping. He can say the N-word where they can't. He can label and write off any racial or economic issues that blacks may want addressed because he's black too. And no one should dare challenge his views because he has been a part of the black experience in America. He can talk about what it meant to be po. (As if the black experience in America is poverty) How dare a black man who seems to be doing everything he can to be nonthreatening, acceptable and accepted by whites so he can advance, dismiss another black man as not having had the "black experience in America".

    October 11, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. GaryB

    What people don't understand is that Cain is not running as a black man. He's running as a very wealthy man. His 9-9-9 plan, for instance, would reduce taxes significantly for the very rich while raising them dramatically on the mid-to-lower middle class and the lower classes. In other words, more of the rich get richer, poor get poorer approach we've seen under recent Republican administrations. It's not a black vs. white thing, it's a class warfare thing, and the upper class is winning.

    October 11, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. annie s

    Why does Herman Cain hate black people? And why does he always refer to himself by his full name? It's weird.

    October 11, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. seneca

    Boortz says he is not racist, he says he is culturist, that he doesnt like black peoples culture. No matter what word you use in the place of racist Boortz, you are still a racist and I'm saying that as a white man. You are a Racist Boortz, you just think that wearing a white hat makes you a nicer racist. I've heard Boortz admit that he wanted the economy to continue to fall apart because that means Obama won't get re-elected. That is easy to say when you are a millionaire and you dont have to worry about loosing your home.

    October 11, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. Educator 36

    999 is a plan that puts the burden of taxes on the middle and lower class–everyone in the world knows that much...

    October 11, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. gerald

    "In every aspect of our human endeavors in this country there is a racial disparity element that's a part of it".
    And as usual it's through no doing of their own right? What you need to understand is stop blamming Whites for everything you fail in. You actually make me laugh!!!
    Go Cain go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    The herminator is a man on a mission. He is smart, witty, and not a politician as well as being a self made man.

    October 11, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. cja

    This guy has 20% of the Republicans for him.. That is a lot but I bet 20% is already every republican who who vote for a black guy. He can't get to 21%. To beat Obama he would need 100% of the republicans and quite a few Democrats. No way will a black guy gt a majority of the Republican party.

    He can say these things, the turth, because he knows he can't win. he is just there to get out his message. And he is ring so many blacks are "anti-Mexican". Not all, not even most of them but there are quite a few

    My opinion? Republicans don't even need to campaign . Voters are to dumb to listen they vote based on the economy and the price of gas one day before the election and don't think more than that. Obama wins or looses based solely on the luck of how the election date falls on the economic cycle. Most voters don't know the name of their own congressman.

    October 11, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. russinmaine

    And he is dead on in that assessment. The comments from Belafonte and the man who could be the poster child for the Black Panther Movement, were as racist as you can possibly get. The irony is that the lamestream media, this one included give clowns like these two a total free pass on being open racists while jumping all over Hank Williams for using an analogy. If you disagree with their Leftist philosophies then you are deemed "out of touch" I would make the assessment that those out of touch with the mainstream American bluecollar worker are those on the far left who continue to chip awasy at destroying the 401Ks and home values of the vast majority of American middle class while trying hard to make it appear as someone elses fault. Come November 2012 you will see just how little you have fooled those in this nation!

    October 11, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. Melvin Harrison

    Herman Cain, This guy Is so out of touch with Black America

    October 11, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. He really think white republicans like him LOL

    He really think white republicans like him LOL, OMG first and foremost he's black and being used. Herb "get back in the night, you ain't white?

    October 11, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. scott00

    The herminator is smart, witty, and obviously industrious. He is not a politician but a businessman which is another huge plus. I hope he gets the nomination as I believe he has the best ideas and is the most sincere candidate. He will have a tough time in the end if he does not get Jim Demint and the tea party to back him. There is no way Romney is going to get there backing unless racism is real. I don't see any of the other candidates being viable after watching debates. I like Ron Pauls ideas but he is too radical to get elected. Herm is the man.

    October 11, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    Talk about wasting our time......just go back to making and selling poison you call pizza. Sniff, sniff....I think I hear the flavor of the week running out of steam. Bye Bye Herb...I mean, Herm...sorry, was just quoting Palin.

    October 11, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. DJ in TX

    This guys has lost all respect from me (and I'm African American). First he basically people who are poor "want" to be poor. Are there black people using race as an excuse, yes, but not the majority of people. And to say that President Obama doesn't know what it is to be poor??? His mother had to choose between her own health vs. food on the table. Mrs. Obama's father worked multiple jobs at his own health risk. This guy is so out of touch. He had two parents. unfortunately a lot of black kids do not. Not an excuse, but a reality. BTW – what has Mr. Cain done to try and help other African Americans get out of poverty?? Has he implemented any type of education programs or afterschool programs or anything to help break the poverty cycle? Has he gone back to his community to try and uplift people? If so, I've never heard of anything. BTW – everyone CAN'T be rich in this country. There will ALWAYS be a working, middle class. I don't blame ANYONE for being successful or rich, but when those very same people stop on others, cause others to lose jobs, houses to go down in value, have a BIG part in the financial meltdown, then I have an issue. Now Mr. Cain is calling African Americans "racist". What a way to try and win their vote. Believe me, there is a much better way to get the message across. If he's the nominee, the GOP will get less than 5% of the black vote. Romney would get more than that.....hell, Santorum would get more than that.....lol This guy has completely lost it.

    October 11, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    If you think that's racist Mr. Cain, I challenge you to take a good long look at what "racism" means.

    October 11, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  19. Vieteran

    It appears that Cain is suffering from Identy problem, the more he try to appeals to the Tea People and the Republican base, the more he opens his mouth, The deeper he inserts his foot in his mouth. We will see what happens to him when his use to the Republican party and Tea People is over soon and he is cast back to the group he continue to despise.

    October 11, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  20. Tom

    Obviously, Herman Cain is a very confused person. He has some real mental issues that make him a danger to the USA.

    October 11, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  21. zb

    The favorite tactic of a bigot and racist is to call everyone else a bigot and racist. But when it comes to Herman Cain the only problem with him is that he has NPD – Narcissistic Personality Disorder. What he has to say is so idiotic – including for example his 999 nonsense, his blaming poverty on the poor (like blaming rape on the victim) and so many other comments he has made that only the idiots of the Republican/Tparty – the party of hate, lunacy, and exploitation – would think it makes sense.

    October 11, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  22. Shawn in MD

    "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,"

    "He's never been part of the black experience in America," Cain said. "I can talk about that." (Referering to Obama)

    Can anyone see the irony in the above two statements? LOL

    he also said that in a hypothetical matchup between he and President Barack Obama, there would "almost be no contest"
    You got THAT right Cain; Obama will crush you!!!

    October 11, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  23. edvice

    First!!!!! Oh and we can fix this whole mess with term limits and public financing. Lobbyist have the control of Washington not the people. The government should fear its citizens not the other way around.

    October 11, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  24. Tom

    Woah woah woah, time out. I must've missed this. Cain actually said something...that made sense?!?

    "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."

    Did I read that right? Cain saying blacks need to cut the crap with the racism when it comes to achievement??? WOAH. I actually have a marginal amount of respect for the man now.

    October 11, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  25. Annie, Atlanta

    Will someone please take the shovel away from this guy before he digs himself a hole he can never crawl out of. The more popular he becomes the more ignorant he shows himself to be. Good grief, enough already Cain.

    October 11, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
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