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. LL

    Thank goodness, someone is actually speaking the truth! Thank you, Mr. Cain, for having the courage to do so.

    October 12, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. jilli


    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.

    Yeah, rattle off a few bumper sticker slogans – with absolutely no basis as solid policy or reality and some will be fooled. Be a total ignoramus on foreign policy issues – and wear that ignorance like a badge of honor, and sure, some rubes will follow. But that's not smart for the country. Just give Mr. Cain his slot of Fox and try recruit a better, more qualified and intelligent candidate.

    October 12, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. iHateStupid

    A lot of folks don't like it when they get their comfy "woe is me...I'm underserved...I'm being held back...there will never be equality...the white man is the root of all evil" blanket pulled out from them. It's absolutely disgusting watching other African Americans attempt to characterize Cain as an "Uncle Tom."

    October 12, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. He'sRight

    There ARE quite a few people who play the race card every time something in life doesn't go their way. They never fail a test due to not studying, it's the test that's biased against blacks. They don't get denied a return in the store because they don't have a receipt and that's the store policy, it's because the clerk doesn't like blacks. There aren't more blacks committing crimes than whites, thus the larger number of blacks in prison, it's because the system is prejudiced against them. On and on and on it goes...

    October 12, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Joe Buck

    Herman Cain is right. Liberals continual tell minorities that the "man" is out to get them and that the game is rigged against them on the basis of their race. If you tell people that long enough, they start to believe that they are handicapped and start to disengage completely from the "game," i.e. society. The fact of the matter is that minorities have the same chances as everyone else - as evidenced by Obama, Cain and the MILLIONS of other succesful minorities out there. The most successful minorities in our country (i.e. Asians and East Indians) do not lament their race or allege that some "man" is out to get them, or continually play the race card. As a result, they do not suffer the same institutional handicaps that other races struggle with in our country Cain is telling the truth that some in his party don't want to hear because it refutes 30 years of dogma.

    October 12, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. CarolAB

    Here we go again!!! Whenever a politician is having trouble dealing with an issue they try to intimidate others using shame and blame to shut them down. So here comes Cain with his attacks accusing black liberals of being racist. I am sick of this manipulation! Reminds me of Republicans who accused Democrats of not being patriotic when they opposed the Iraq war, and of Clarence Thomas' attacks when he called his quite legitimate hearing a "lynching." Enough already! Stop the inane bullying, and run on truth and facts!

    October 12, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Paulus wrote:
    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
    In case you haven't noticed, it is the conservative, Mr. Cain, who is slinging the mud calling people racist. What Mr. Cain is doing is typical right wing propaganda. Accuse the other side of the exact wrong doing the you are actually trying to commit while everyone is looking the other way. Mr. Cain started this entire uproar. I think black voters were content to mind their business, and let Mr. Cain do his thing without them until he came knocking with something that was interest.

    October 12, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. person

    Herman Cain is not saying racism is dead- the point he is making is that sometimes black people use racism as an escape for going out and working hard. I think having a black president is evidence enough that being black does not limit you completely. Yes, there is blatant racism in the world demonstrated on many levels. Is it so strong that it actually limits a person? Sometimes, probably yes. I truly believe that most cases where racism is blamed as the reason for poverty, etc, it is false. minorities often are BENEFITED by being a minority in different cases- companies LOVE hiring minorities that are just as good as a white man. It brings diversity.

    i am a white 20 year old male, and while you could blame my opinion on the fact that i was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, you cant. I was born to poor parents, i had to work for everything i own. Ive only held food service jobs- i'm paying my way through community college right now. a black person could have held every job i do, and go through the same school. My position in life has nothing to do with that im white.

    I've seen blatant racism personally. It is sickening. I am not arguing that racism doesn't exist, nor is Cain. If many people were more worried about working hard and learning, and less about what welfare check they were getting next, SO many people would leave poverty and move into middle class.

    October 12, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. The Truth

    Dear Herman,
    Your desperation smells really, really, really bad. We (the black community, collectively) hate to see this. First you call us lazy and stupid, then you say our unemployment is strictly our fault. When you know that, even with our college degrees from good schools, we're still unemployed at several percentage points higher than our white brothers and sisters, across almost all industries. You believe that it is our fault? I guess you have not ready any of the many studies, right? You can read, so are you just lazy? Better still, why don't you have a conversation with Mr. Cyrus Mehri? It's not that you don't have the right to be a Republican, it's good that we have representation across all parties, as everyone should. We just hate that you have to try to make us look bad to make yourself an acceptable candidate. If you had solid policies, you could just ignore everything being said and run on those policies, right, brother? And why do you call yourself a "black conservative" if race is of no significance in the world...why not just "conservative?" Because you know there's a little differentiator in using the term "black," right? Like "I'm not one of them lazy negroes." But here's the thing...You are not going to get elected. When this is all said and done, all you will have left is your dignity...what's left of it, and some money. You will still need to look yourself in the mirror, though. How will you feel having disparaged those folks that died and had fire hoses turned on them so you could make the run? You will have done that all for nothing but a footnote in history? If you think your "friends" "have your back," just wait until your son or daughter tries to date their son or daughter. God Speed Herman!

    October 12, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. catwill

    Mr Cain reminds me of Sarg in Soldiers story because he blames the blacks for the racism that they suffered and says its their fault for feeling that they were mistreated and should just shut up and vote for the GOP/Ts.

    October 12, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. The Truth

    Why do folks vote against their own self interests? I suppose if you were a millionaire, you wouldn't have time to be on this board. If the Red States' policies are so good, why are they the poorest states in the nation?

    October 12, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    I can understand this man for being confused about bigotry and racism. If a blind person read his proposals, his reduce the taxes on rich people, cut benefits to inner cities and poor, make the middle class pay for the handouts to the top ten percemters, etc., that blind person might well think that Strom Thurmond or Lester Maddox had been cloned. No wonder the black leaders are bigoted against him.

    October 12, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    If you think black folks aren't racist, visit your local black barbershop or black-owned hair salon and listen to the most vile racist comments ever spoken. Cain knows his complexion is too dark to be really liked by most black folks. With the exception of Dr. King, very few dark-skinned African Americans have been or are considered an equal to a lighter-skinned African American. And, King, for all he was doing, had to compete with the lighter-skinned Malcolm X. Look at the history of the NAACP and their leaders. Then there was Booker T Washington versus W.E.B. Du Bois. We all know who the black elite lined up behind: It wasn't Booker T. And, were they alive today, Booker T would be considered an "Uncle Tom" while Du Bois would be considered a "righteous brother." And, let's be clear: If Obama was as dark-skinned as Herman Cain, Mr. Obama would not be president. Or, if Obama had a white wife, he would not have gotten nearly as many black votes. Then there is the Tom Joyner Show, the most racist show on radio. Yet, Mr. Joyner and his crew eagerly apply the "racist" label to most conservatives. Yep, among black folks, it is often noted that some of this nation's most racist people happen to be African Americans. But, what the hell: With black employment being the highest it's been in nearly thirty years, people are using their energy to debate who likes or dislikes black folks.

    October 12, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. pm

    The rich have always wanted to divert our attention from the real issues our country is dealing with by throwing out the "abortion card" or "religion card" or "your not patriotic because you oppose this war card." Now the Tea baggers have a black man who will throw out the "race card."

    The real issue is that the .01 percent want to keep thier 99.9 percent of the wealth. Wake up America, these people only want their greedy hands on the Treasury and the laws that keep the rich, well rich.

    October 12, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Joe

    Sorry Cain, black people aren't being racist when they wonder why you're a Republican. They just can't believe you're that stupid and self loathing.

    October 12, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. Inga

    Cain does not have a '9-9-9' plan but rather a 6-6-6 plan. May God have mercy on America.

    October 12, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. Frank

    This guy is REALLY getting people riled up! Obviously a lot of fully qualified psychologists must read this blog, because I've just read about 13 individuals who have written their professional psychological opinions on this man. What? They're not fully qualified psychologists? Well, then perhaps these individuals should keep their opinions to themselves. Personally, I've been told by some friends of mine that (paraphrased) "When all else fails, claim discrimination and you'll win every time". One other note – it's a shame that CNN doesn't screen these responses for correct spelling or there'd be a lot fewer of them to have to scroll through. To those that seek to silence this man, remember that "we" have had to listen to the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for years now!

    October 12, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. W L Jones

    You would think when the white left Europe they would not created a system more class war than the one they left. ,..not only aganst the one across railtrack but the one in the backwoods as well so get off the horse and we all walk as one. Bless.

    October 12, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. linda Collins

    Someone gave Cain a job and a chance to get ahead. That's all everyone black or white wants. It has nothing to do with laziness or color it has to do with being given a chance and face it African Americans are less likely to be given a chance and thats racism!

    October 12, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Eric Jacobson

    Um, you held the position of CEO. That's why they question you.

    October 12, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. TTS

    I will admit, some people do hold themselves back, no matter their ethnicity for lack of an education, fear, and their environment. Black people especially have been far below the line because for years we were kept from being educated. Black people would get hung, by whites, just for reading a book or learning the English language. I was laid off "fired" from my job because I was Black and the White Director didn't like me. I have a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree. So I don't think that I am holding myself back. In my previous job, I changed the way we do business, never late, didn't have any write-ups, and was more educated then my White Director. Yet, I got the boot. Does that make me lazy? Did I use racism as an excuse to get fired? If Black people are making up the racism card why are more African Americans especially males out of work than White Americans? Why is it so hard to get a loan as a Black American when a White American, Asian American, even Hispanic American, with the same financial credentials can get a loan faster than I can? If racism doesn't exist why do poor Black area schools not get state or federal funding that they need to improve the schools but the affluent White neighborhood schools do? I admit that Black people are brainwashed. They think that White people finally see them as equal as the human beings that we are. But that we are "making up" racism is ludicrous. It is a real problem in America. But this is one thing I have never understood about White people in general, why do they hate Black people?

    October 12, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. ev

    guess i hit that on the head of the nail if ya didnt want to post my last blog,because thats where our problems stem from ,thanks for confirming it 🙂 we need peopple good at math in the white house not polotics

    October 12, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. way to go Mr. Cain- go visit the South and u wil see it.

    I agree that the ones who are verbally abusive, demanding, self righteous, intimidating to other minorities , especially to Latinos in the South and other cities are black people , not the whites anymore as much as the blacks, by doing so they are isolating themselves from other in society, who wants to live close to a abusive people. Latinos in Alabama and Georgia get abused and discriminated by blacks not by whites.

    October 12, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. way to go Mr. Cain- go visit the South and u wil see it.

    we must agree that the ones who are verbally abusive, demanding, self righteous, intimidating to other minorities , especially to Latinos in the South and other cities are black people , not the whites anymore as much as the blacks, by doing so they are isolating themselves from other in society, who wants to live close to a abusive people. Latinos in Alabama and Georgia get abused and discriminated by blacks not by whites.

    October 12, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |

    Where did you buy that mirror Herman? The one which refelcts you image with blond hair and blue eyes. Go ahead with your daliy insults as blacks. We can't wait to vote for you. The more insults, the more votes. Remember to go on the Rush Limbaugh show to insult us as well. Stop by Shawn Hannity and hurl more insults.

    We are now used to getting it from you so we will not be surprised. This is a sure way to get us to vote for you.

    October 12, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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