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. FIREL1stSGT

    How ignorant can the African American Obama supporters be. Like Biden they say Cain's 9-9-9 plan will be bad for the middle class. This by far is the most sensible and feasible plan I have ever heard and stated that should be implemented long before now. Get off the rich, rich, rich. I am far from being rich. Still I probably might be considered barely middle class. For example the 9-9-9 plan is so fair it is nothing but simple math. Take a person making 1 million under 9% he pays $90,000 in tax. A person making $50,000 at 9% pays $4,500. Please tell me how this hurts the middle class other than the fact no one in your group wishes to pay for America in one way or another. But you do expect them to give you. CRAP.

    October 12, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Stormer

    Wow. He didn't just play a race card, he threw in the whole darn deck!

    Well, it's probably good to get all this nonsense out early in the campaign season. It just makes it easier for Obama and the Democrats to win again.

    October 12, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. runner15

    How low are you planning to go for a vote, Mr. Cain? You are a race baiter. Stick to pizzas.

    October 12, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. NJ Mom

    I don't care about racism, abortion, gays, etc...I want to know what this guy can do for THE ECONOMY. The repubs have lined up a group of CRAZIES, that's for sure! Barnum & Bailey would have loved these freaks in their side show....

    October 12, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. Buster Bloodvessel

    Can he get any dumber? This guy is like a male Palin.

    October 12, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. SpeakthetruthHedid

    Hummm, when the truth hurts – They sure do switch sides. Love it!

    October 12, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. His Boy Elroy

    Racism??? It is long overdue to claim racism. Isn't that one of the first things a black does when things don't go his way? I am here to tell you that I would vote for Cain before any of the other Republican candidates... but did he have to go and act so overtly black and make this claim? It saddens me.

    October 12, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. NVa Native

    Not that any white guy claiming blacks (or any other minority) were brainwashed to vote in a particular way was a racist comment?
    Kind of like why in the past – before Obama – have so many white guys only vote for white guys – because that's all that was running you say? Sounds like a racism reason one way or another to me.

    October 12, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. Rodney

    It is unfortunate that Herman Cain in his efforts to appease the ruling class in this country would continue to make such broad statements with regard to black people in this country again assuming that we are all a monolith. We have never held the wealth and resources to promote racist views. However, we turn a blind eye at the history of this country which indicate that the ruling class in this country are consumed with the power, resources and race. As Americans we are not a cohesive group and social isolation is but another form of extended racism from those in the ruling class.

    October 12, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. LisaS

    He was on Good Morning America this morning and the header under him was "Pizza Man runs for office". Pizza Man?? Is that not racist. I know, he worked in the pizza industry, but would a democrat have been so belittled on Good Morning Democrat America? I don't think so.

    October 12, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. I'm with stupid . . .

    I'm for cain. . .

    October 12, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. John

    To all you Cain detractors, take the time to educate yourself about him. He came from a poor family,got an education and became a successful businessman. In your blinded view of racism, this can't possibly happen. The fact is there are plenty of successful black men and women. Look at Oprah, she's one of the richest people on the planet. There are plenty of poor and uneducated white people. So not being black doesn't guaranty you'll be rich and successful.

    Bottom line, Quitters never win and Winners never quit! If you want to whine you can't succeed because of racism and quit trying, then you deserve to never win. Quit whining and overcome!!!!!

    October 12, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Jeff

    These comments are hilarious. People wonder why Congress can't get along?!? On one side you have the Obama apologists, whos sound just as stupid defending the idiot as the Bush apologists do defending him, and the people putting him down because of his beliefs. Then closer to the middle you have those that realize that Cain's experiences won't (and shouldn't) be a good measuring stick of the average A-American experience, although I am certain that it is much closer than Obama and his White upbringing and Ivy league education. Then you have the other side who is jumping at the opportunity to call someone, whom they never walked in their shoes, lazy and using excuses. I personally beleive that there are instances where a person of color has played the victim when it didn't rate, HOWEVER, I believe that society is only now gotten to the point where A-Americans are starting to move their families higher in the socio-economic scales and that journey for the majority of families will take generations because there is something to be said about where you are and the opportunities you will get, unless you are extraordinary, which not everyone can be. There can not be only one answer, there has to be many, which is why the majority of rules and regulations should be on a local level and not on a federal level.

    October 12, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  14. Mia

    Ugh...Please make him stop. He just makes me cringe. Yes, Mr Cain, someone has been brainwashed and yes, someone is racist. Unfortuanately that someone is you.
    Realize and be grateful that you were blessed and you beat the didnt mean the odds werent against you. Why not find a way to motivate the people and encourage them with your story instead of belittling and criticizing. Unfortunately, Mr. Cain you are feeding and breeding stereotypes and the very racism you say doesnt exist....You are a "bad apple".

    October 12, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. TiredODaCrap

    I say go for it, GOP. Heck, it'd be impressive to have an ACTUAL black man on the ballot (not a half-one). Either way, it's good to see someone in this country speak about what he believes in, not just what his party, race, sex, etc, would want him to say!

    October 12, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. Rsprings

    Cain is right. Those leaders in the Black community continue to foment racism because it gives them power. They know white america hates to charged with racism, so they use it every time they can. They continue to spew hate and demonize anyone who does not think like them or agree with them. If you look at the rise of the black middle class is was one of the fastest growing segments of the population. Are there disparities, yes. Are some of these disparities self inflicted, yes...for everyone. We are ALL impacted by the economy and bad government policy. Cain is right to tell the black community to stop whining and pick your self up. Sadly, he is getting the same treatment Bill Cosby got when he was saying the same.

    October 12, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. sun52shine

    Cain voted against a minimum wage increase for the very employees he managed at Godfather's pizza. That ment money, more money for his big fat bonus. Wanna change America – start with the man in the mirror, Mr. Pizzaman.

    October 12, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. CEL1

    Herman forgets that he is still owned by the same rich white guys that set him up in business and propped him up to make him successful. He needs to reach out and accept his emancipation and understand that racism is real, it;s not just against blacks and it is a huge reason for the Republicans trying to blockade the passage of bills that would benefit all working class Americans.

    October 12, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Guff

    I hope Cain gets the nomination, he'll get my vote for sure!

    October 12, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. Tia

    My problem with Cain is that he is always trying to tell me what my problem is, how I think and what is wrong with me. He needs to STOP making ignorant generalizations about black people. If he has a campaign platform, he needs to stick to that. If not, he just needs to shut up because I, for one, don't want to hear any more of his stupidity!

    October 12, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Robert - Atlanta

    Look up self loathing black man and you will find a picture of Herman Cain. He’s just another rich republican who screams – I’ve got mine to hell with you! Cain, because of low self esteem, is not well suited for any real responsibility. He was handed a job at Coke, parlayed that into a “position” at Pillsbury, and then stabbed them in the back with a hostile takeover of their pizza chain. He didn’t create the business he stole from his employer. Cain took 880 stores, closed half of them, and that makes him a “smart businessman” – NOT to me!

    October 12, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Rich in Colorado

    YES, there are bigots/racist in the Black community just as they exist in ALL communities. So where's the the BIG NEWS??? BTW, I'm also Black but not a racist (just ask my 2 White son-in-laws)

    October 12, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. colazo1948

    Mr Cain, I am not black but if anybody has been brainwashed it's been you; by the the so call Tea Party making you believe that you have a chance to become the next president of the US, now that's a big time brainwashing job.
    And another thing... would you like to hear what those people interviewing you say about you after you make those out of touch, up in the clouds, stupid statements of yours?......I didn't think so.
    You have become a sparring partner for the rest of the candidates in the race, they love to watch you make a fool of yourself every time you open your mouth.

    October 12, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. JustWondering

    If people vote for substance, why did 80+% of blacks vote for Obama? He hadn't done anything while in IL – just voted present. There was (nor is) any substance, no experience, no nothing, except for the elephant in the room.

    Herman Cain is awesome, so sad others don't see that using welfare is still being owned.

    October 12, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. eciam

    Cain charges "some" in black, white, yellow red, community of racism.
    So whites vote Rep. 99.9% of the time and that's no big deal!
    Go away you annoyiny man and take your 999 with you!

    October 12, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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