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. LATINOS IN THE SOUGH

    As a Latina voter who lives in the South (Georgia), the racism and abuse we get in the South are mostly done by black’s people, they treat us like second citizens. Fortunately, now we have Mr. Cain to vote for, he is speaking for all the other minorities who are being abused by blacks, especially in the South. In the past I always voted Democrat, but not anymore, Mr.Cain is our new hero.

    October 12, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Drew Williams

    Oh those brainwashed, bigoted blacks, eh Herman? Is that why even your own mother would likely not vote for you?

    October 12, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Jomm

    Liberal blacks racist? Wow. (According to what makes a person a racist), I did not know blacks are a race of people who believe they are superior to other races and they ALSO have the POWER to OPRESS other races from getting jobs and being treated equally. Then blacks should be able to put another black person in office WITHOUT white voters since blacks have the MOST power. WOW (rolling eyes in sarcasm).

    October 12, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. ED FL

    It won't be long Mr Cain when the GOP doesn't need you any more as the token African American and you finish your rapid decline in the polls the GOP will ignore you without even a thank you or acknowledgement that you once believed you were one of them.You will replace the older lady in the back of the bus without all the notoriety. They won't even give your Pizza a chance. Welcome to GOP politics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 12, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Bill

    Cain can nver be president because no one wants to hear the truth. Ths is not new. Bill Cosby has said this several times.

    October 12, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. Sunfighter

    He could of better worded it. What he means is that race plays little in the final outcome of your life. Yet democratic blacks have been taught/informed/indoctrinated into the idea that it does. That they are worthless blacks that will never amount to anything because "the man" is after them to put them down. How can you ever succeed knowing your outcome is fixed? You cant, you wont even try. Cain rejected this idea, and worked hard to get to where he is today. And his race didnt stop him from getting there. There was no "the man" that stopped him in his tracks. So hes come to the rational conclusion that blacks are self destructing themselves based on their teaching from the democratic party that they have no opportunities in life. His message is true, he just needs to word it better.

    October 12, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. D

    Racism exists and affects many today and will as long as there are people. That's a fact. We have come a long way. I don't think Cain is denying racism, I think he's just speaking like other people like Bill Cosby, that say people need to take personal responsibility. So both statements can be true one can be held back by both racism and themselves at the same time. If you give up after hitting racism many times, you will never succeed. That's a true statement. Also, think of the many successful black people in this country.

    I am positive they did and still do experience bigotry. But if racism holds people back, how did they get to their successful position in the first place? Obviously they overcame adversity like everyone else that succeeds.

    So Mr. Cain's statements are not face value comments of ignorance and/or trying to play uncle tom for whitey, but they are honest comments coming from a man who doesn't just talk about it, but he's lived it. Whether that makes him fit for the presidency is a mute point, but the statement isn't as evil and disparaging as some would make it seem.

    I think this whole ideal that's been promoted of racism is a farce in many ways. It has been used as a crutch and takes the eyes off of the real problem. We don't need people screaming "You don't and never will understand!", we need people that say "let me help you understand". We need more unity and less division. Unfortunately there are many that make millions off of perpetuating the idea of racism and teaching people that misguided anger is the way to live and not ideals such as peace, love, forgiveness and personal responsibility.

    October 12, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. leciat

    why not obama and his supporters have been using it for 5 years now (while he was campaigning and the entire time he has been in office)

    October 12, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Dr. Cliff

    First, I'm black. Second, he's right.

    October 12, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Rush Cheney

    I am from Atlanta and have been familiar with this Cain fellow for years now. He is a very shrewd fellow. He is playing a character, and playing it quite well I might add. He doesn't believe 95% of what he's selling. He's playing the GOP and specifically the Tea Party for fools. The more shocking he can appear, the more headlines he can grab, the more publicity he can garner before his 15 minutes are up, the more MONEY IN HIS POCKET!

    October 12, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. GotThumbs

    This is a man of character and calls it like he sees it. I'd vote for him. Obama accomplished the 'Historic' check mark, now lets get a black president that can lead. The 999 plan may be hard to implement, but has merit. Sometime its best to simply things to get to accomplish the task. Services cost money...and everyone has to help pay the bills. You either expect Americans to be more self-reliant or everyone has to pay more to baby-sit the inept segment of the population. Sometimes the truth is hard to hear, but its better than lies from our government.

    October 12, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. doug

    African Americans in red areas of America have pretty much the same standard of living as whites, it is only in the blue Democrat areas that there is a major socioeconomic disparity.

    I wonder if Tavis knows what he contributes to, if he does well I need not even type any words that would describe such a person.

    October 12, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. GotThumbs

    his is a man of character and calls it like he sees it. I'd vote for him. Obama accomplished the 'Historic' check mark, now lets get a b la ck president that can lead. The 999 plan may be hard to implement, but has merit. Sometime its best to simply things to get to accomplish the task. Services cost money...and everyone has to help pay the bills. You either expect Americans to be more self-reliant or everyone has to pay more to baby-sit the inept segment of the population. Sometimes the truth is hard to hear, but its better than lies from our government.

    October 12, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Lolo

    The ones who are praising Cain will not vote for him. He is just pumping up their racist views. Of course they agree with hm, but will not vote for him. Cain sounds more stupid than Steele. The republican/tea partiers are just using him and he does not have enough sense to realize it. One thing about rich black folks which happens every time, they sure know how to throw their people under the bus. Please get a grip and realize the white man does not like you period.

    October 12, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Thinkbeforeyouspeak

    Everytime I watch this man on television, I cannot help but wonder how unbelievably simple minded he is, and why he's allowed a public platform to display his stupidity. He's right about one think though, even idiots can have a slice of the American dream...Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and the cast of Jersey Shore are but few examples...

    October 12, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. GotThumbs

    ??? Cain is a man of character.

    October 12, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. kinglywarrior

    Honestly, what has he said that would make him a good PRESIDENT? Nevermind the racial crap and the buzz terms he constantly uses to keep the spotlight on. What has he said that instills any confidence in his ability to run a country?

    October 12, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Rush Cheney

    It's the same game that Limbaugh, Coulter, Ingram, Hannity, Beck, etc. play with their followers. Are you upset! Are you angry! Are you fired up and ready to go! Great ... listen to my radio show and buy my new book!

    October 12, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. tynnek

    He is very right. As a young white male of 24( in the 1980s) living in the inner city ( Pear orchard) in Beaumont, Texas 70% black area of Beaumont, I have seen the racism. Just let a white male win a game of basket ball. After my friend and I won 7 games in a row at Roberts Park, we where told no white boys win on our court, at that comment my friend and I decided to leave and they threw rocks and sticks at us as we walked away. One almost hit my 6 year old son. I promptly sold my house and moved. Open your eyes. I wish MLK would have been their and seen how far we have come.

    October 12, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. John K.

    Herman Cain scares the Liberal-Democrat plantation owners to death.

    October 12, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. james mcguire

    Herman Cain is spot on reegarding the woes of a large swath of the black community. Many nationalities have dealt with prejudice and racism. Far too many blacks have allowed the themselves to be plantationized by the entitlements that were given out due to guilt for terrible things done before most of todays blacks were even alive. Italians, Irish, Jews, Hispanics and middle easteners have all had to deal with predjudice. Go to school, get a job and move on with your live and quit having babies without the means to supports them. Hold the sperm donors accountable for their offspring.

    October 12, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. abby1

    Cain, you are no better than the people you criticize. You were the first person to sling mud at others, now you are criticizing them because they are now slinging mud back at you. Your conservative values should have taught you not to instigate fights. Now you are crying foul because of your wrongdoings.

    October 12, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Big Daddy Cain

    I would imagine Obama would just love for Cain to get the nomination. All Cain has done is insult and alienate 99 percent of the black vote.

    October 12, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Doesn't Mr. Cain realize that this sort of talk did not get him to the top tier? I guess not.

    I wonder what Mr. Cain is going to think when he tries to convert his top tier status into campaign donations, and doors start slamming and locking in his face.

    October 12, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. Paulus

    The man is right. The race card has been overused by the left. I really love the liberals calling Cain a racist, What a joke. Just goes to show you that the, "If they don't agree with me, then they are racist." debate tactic that liiberals constantly (to the point of insanity) use, is finding new crazier territory for use every day. Eventually, everyone can be a mean hate-,mongering racist, just because they don't agree with a liberal agenda.

    October 12, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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