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. doug

    If denying someone ideological freedom based upon the color of their skin is not racism, than what is?

    Face it, the Democrat's creation of the great society plan that has only grown over the years since its implimentation as a counter to the civil rights act in the mid 1960s, has become even more devistating for people of color than the Democrat created klan has been.

    Actions, not words, it is clear who the real racists are, and what party and ideology they gravitate to.

    October 12, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. DSherwin

    This is the kind of Republican that needs to run for president. He's not part of the good ole boys network, he's a successful businessman who can lead. I can vote for Cain over the rest of the has beens.

    October 12, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Occupy

    I hope this dude or Rick Perry wins the Rep. nomination because that would make their chances of being elected ZERO.

    October 12, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. ray

    Everything he says is the truth.

    October 12, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. John

    Bad news, Mr. Cain... you are alienating the black vote, and most of the white conservative vote you are going for thinks you're a worthing N-word, and will never vote for you. You have no chance whatsoever against Obama. I suggest you drop out now and save yourself a lot of headache.

    October 12, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. LNT

    Mr. Cain seeing that you are "OUT OF TOUCH" with the Black Connuinty how can you call (us) racist?? You are just like your White GOP counter-part you stay within your comfort zone that is small town America, come and talk with the REAL peolpe in the inner city and see how we live, what on our mind. Remember one thing no matter what you say or what you do when you wake up in the morning you will STILL BE A BLACK MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 12, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. blackmanwith whitefriends

    See I liked Herman Cain but now he sounds like one of my grand fathers who was in the house during his day as a slave. You would say oh Cain lives in the south so he should know a racist, oh Herman has been through the worst of racism I mean bigotry. But with those words in that context speak for itself. Herman Cain is playing to his base, which seperated from the democratic party because it was moved far from the idea of the clansman who founded the democratic party. Can't help but think he is in touch with his head not to mention the African American vote.

    October 12, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Erik S.

    Good for Cain. You know this is true, you are only considered black if you support Democrat. Thanks for the truth Cain

    October 12, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. CJay

    I think we all have prejudices in us, it is part of our upbringing, to look down on others who aren't like us. I think those who state they do not have a racist bone in their body is a liar. It is time for real conversations...just put it out there. Say, I don't like you. Then ask, Why? And realize how stupid our prejudices are. However, what he is doing is alienating the African American community further, but if the GOP has their way we won't have the ability to vote anyway...

    October 12, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. f

    Most black Americans just blindly follow the liberal Democrats. I don't know why. The Dems have no real history of helping the blacks.

    October 12, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. obandon

    I was kind of liking this guy until he started saying things like "If you are envious of the wealthy go out and WORK FOR IT", completely seeming to forget we have a JOBS crisis in this country created by the wealthy. His "if you don't believe in me you are racist" thing now is disgusting. Typical Tea/Republican – looney, out of touch, racist/bigoted, selfish, my way or the highway! I hope he fades away into some corner somewhere.

    October 12, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Bob

    This is a major development in the Black Community. A Black leader calling black people racist. How true. I've been saying that for years. But it's actually beyond that. The Black Community has a policy of genocide against white people, especially white cops. Look at what the NAACP does. They constantly support black people who kill white people, especially if they call white cops. Hopefully at some time somebody will notice. Then there's the N-word hypocracy where black people use it all the time and critize white people who use word that are close. Eddit Murphy called Bill Cosby the N-word three times at the tonight show last year and he is rewarded with the Academy Awards!!!???

    October 12, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    The Shepard wrote:
    For once a black man that speaks TRUTH and of course the black people and ultra white liberals can't handle it. Until people start saying and facing TRUTH you will just keep going round and round and winding up in the same place.
    No one is denying that there are no black American bigots. It is Mr. Cain who opened and is leading this conversation. Mr. Cain just simply does not understand that conservatism has nothing to do with why most black voters vote Democratic. And, it appears that Mr. Cain will never understand because he lacks the minimum amount of empathy needed to see someone else's views as the other person feels them. That's a polite way of saying Mr. Cain is stubbornly ignorant.

    October 12, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. janedoe

    His Dad made him dumb down. Today he is less than a man. I sure would like to see his follks. They should be embarrassed. Probably are, that's why you don't see them.

    October 12, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. ungato1

    People like Tavis Smiley will NEVER allow racism to disappear. That's his main raw material to keep his job alive. He also thinks that if he rants and raves about it continuously and at the top of his lungs, he somehow is righteous and good. My opinion, Herman Cain makes Tavis look tiny and failed. Mr. Cain should be a role model to all of us while Mr. Smiley should find something positive to do with his talents.

    October 12, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Aduzi

    Cain is holding three 9's and a pair of races and he still can't beat Obama.

    October 12, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. Aduzi

    9 toppings for 9 dollars in 9 minutes The dumbing down of America.

    October 12, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. deedee

    He said what??? He's just pandering to the rich, white sellout

    October 12, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. CBR

    I am not sure what Mr. Cain is trying to prove but most of us do not care what the color is of anyone's skin. The bottom line is what they are thinking and doing. Unfortunately, Mr. Cain has been throwing around language that tries to overshadow the racism that does occur. This country still has large pockets of racism which are not addressed by our leaders. So Mr. Cain find another reason why liberals do not like your politics.

    How he can miss the racism that Mr. Obama has faced since he entered the White House is a mystery? Much of it came from his fellow Conservatives but that does not mean that very Conservative is a racist. I think most people are smart enough to know and see the truth but they do not confront the racism head on.

    October 12, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    Even though Mr.Cain is largely correct in his assessments, it's suicidal for him to be going after his own Black community, and the Wall Street protestors the way he has been!

    People like Mr.Cain, and even Mr. Perry (FORGET utterly incompetent Palin or the excessively naive Ron Paul!) need to grow up before they can be considered presidential material. While Perry has the qualifications to be President, Cain surely does NOT!

    As Bill Clinton had remarked about Perry, that he will dig his own grave with his big mouth which he did & is still doing(!), Mr. Cain is doing the same too.

    Even though I voted for Obama last time, I would WHOLE HEARTEDLY SUPPORT A ROMNEY-HUNTSMAN (as VP) combine. They are surely the VERY BEST GOP bet to attract THE MOST CRUCIAL & DECISIVE (to win the Presidency) INDEPENDENT VOTES (like Mine).

    Truly Huntsman here is the MOST UNDER-RATED CANDIDATE of all. I would say he is nearly as good as Romney if NOT better!

    October 12, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. closetiguana

    Is this what you call reverse-reserves racism?

    October 12, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. j.berry

    Cain is a black man who got to where he never expected to see himself go, then forgot from whence he came.

    October 12, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. jose

    I have not heard a person in the last 30 years make sence as does this man. I like Cain, he is not afraid of being politically incorrect and he will be a great leader. finally some one I can vote for. Keep it up Cain. and it is true, black people have been brain washed on the topic of race and other issues in the US.

    October 12, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Me

    I don't like using insults too commonly because when you meet someone who truly is that slur, it's so utterly blatant. America, meet Tio Tomas.

    October 12, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. E=MC2

    I think Mr. Cain has hit the nail straight on the head with this truth. I am in a mixed race marraige and I am not racist, yet I have experienced more racism from the black community year by year. What I dont understand is, why do so many blacks still play the race card? Japanese Americans suffered injustice by being interned in camps during WWII. Why do you not here japanese Americas whinign and complaining about it all the time? The got past it and moved on with their lives and by the most part are successful responsible citizens. I truly believe the biggest social problem in this country is reverse discrimination. The black community needs to stop feeling sorry for itself and move forward. Yet, they try time and again to be different- black pride. No, it should simply be American pride. i watched a very interesting series on PBS about Human Emotions and society and sociologist talk about the harm black America causes to themselves when they try so hard to be different. The issue they spoke of was one we all hear- names: Lawanda, Tyrone, Lashawn all these very ethnic names that do draw a distinction that they are different. The program goes on to show the beginnings of this in the late 60's with the black power movement. Again, it is the black community trying to be regarded as different. They should stop this whining, educate their children, get married and remain married if they want to have children, get off welfare and work hard, stop buying their kids Nike's when the have no money and spend it rather on education materials. They need to pull themselves out of the ditch they have dug. The most shameful individuals are people like Al Sharpton, jesse jackson, Sheila jackson Lee and the likes who leach off this anger and only inflame the black community instead of speaking the truth and telling them to grow up and be responsible. I greatly admire people like Mr. Cain and Bill Cosby for speaking the truth that the black community needs to hear but does not want to hear.

    October 12, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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