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. Kevin, (Minneapolis)

    Herman Cain is only saying what virtually every white person has thought at one time or another. Blacks HAVE used, from time to time, the race card to avoid taking responsibility for their station in life. The difference is that if a white person were to have said what Herman Cain said, they'd have been tarred and feathered as a racist. Mr Cain can say it, and it scares the hell out of those who'd rather not admit it.

    October 11, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. Jake

    or maybe its white is the new black...depends on what his plans really are. Herman cain is racist against the poor. oh wait thats perfect...he is white.

    October 11, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. mike124

    I'm sorry but Obama did NOT make race a divisive issue. Can Cain talk about anything else?

    October 11, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. Harry's Watching

    The more this guy talks, the less likely he'll be president. "Being gay is a choice, there isn't that much racism in America", keep it up Herm!

    October 11, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. marco

    I'm black and I want Herman Cain to be my next president.

    October 11, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  6. 1crusader

    There is SOME truth in Cain's statement.There are SOME .blacks who are racist;and as a black woman, I can also say that I think that we , as a community, need to emphasize education , and self-sufficiency as the doorway out of poverty.I , as well, recognize that there are many corporations that strive to achieve diversity, and even promote minorities to the top of the corporate ladder; HOWEVER, racism is still alive and well in America, and I say that as someone who, along with my husband , raised her children to understand that it exists, but not to focus on it and cry "Racism at every turn", nor be beaten down by it.Two of my children, who are well-educated, professional, polished, and articulate ( and I say that not just as their mom, but truthfully) both worked for the same Fortune500 corporation.., that's a household-name.There was a culture inside that company of blatant, systematic racial discrimination, which some in management readily admitted , off the record.There were numerous lawsuits brought against the company, some won, and most settled out of court.I don't think that this corporation was isolated in its practices.My problem with Mr. Cain is that he comes across as arrogant, and out of touch with the real world when it comes to a number of issues that effect ALL people., such as thinking that everyone that is struggling financially or unemployed right now, in this horrible economy is to blame for not being rich, or not having a job, and that they are just envious of those who are prospering.That 's ludicrous, and demonstrates that he isn't ready to lead the American people, because either he doesn't understand what they are experiencing or he doesn't seem to care, or both.

    October 11, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. Hajee

    Hermain Cain is such a poor excuse for a black man. President Obama is 100 x's more of a black than he is. Cain sooo out of touch with reality and the black experience til it's pathetic. He's pathetic!!!

    October 11, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. Deedubya

    Truth hurts. That's why there are no comments yet. At least a Black Man said it. If a Whitey was to say it, Oh No :() call in Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to force an apology. That's also the truth.

    October 11, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  9. Dave Spencer

    Herman – I thought I have just about everything during my 74 years and thenyou came along. You are a joke!!! Get lost.

    October 11, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. hogface

    that is the pot calling the kettle black

    October 11, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. lizinStLouis

    Hi name speaks for itself...:((

    October 11, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  12. Dave, Central Illinois

    Thank God someone has the ba!!s to say what needs to be said. There is a whole industry of grifters who profit from keeping racism alive – Jesee Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc. And, there is a huge polictical machine called the Democratic party which has an interest in keeping disatisfied blocks of voters handy for elections.

    October 11, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  13. B W Styles

    Here is where Cain's self delusion will be his own undoing; his over use of the racism talking point. He claims that racism is a non-factor, but uses it constantly to rebut his poor standing amongst Blacks. He argues against his own points, a mark of the deluded. White people don't like to talk about racism, and it is their support that he is vying for. All he is doing is keeping an unwelcome topic front and center, which will erode his candidacy.

    October 11, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  14. JiminNM

    Cain is associated with the Bilderberger group like Obama, Perry, Clinton, Bush and nearly every other politician. If you want to vote for a real America black candidate, vote for Alan Keyes or Thomas Sowell. I have voted for Alan Keyes twice, and I am not black. If Ron Paul doesn't win the Republican nomination, I will write in Alan Keyes and vote for him. Neither the evil Democrat nor evil Republican will get my vote ever.

    October 11, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  15. kakaraka

    How a millionaire can know how a poor person is feeling? Nonsense. These millionaire republicans candidates do not represent me period. They are rich and totally out of touch with my suffrances.

    October 11, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  16. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Poor, Poor Herman....
    Just look around at the "friends" you have in the GOP and you will see the REAL racists.

    October 11, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  17. Mike from MN

    Who is Cain kidding?

    Cain is clearly trying to brainwash the predominantly white Republican base that he is not *black*.

    October 11, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. rob

    Cain is a typical hypocritical Rethuglican. He's denouncing Perry for being racist, and Cain himself is a homophobe. Whether you hate someone based on the color of their skin, their gender, their religion, their physical handicap, or their sexual orientation, you're still a bigot.

    October 11, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. JulieMS

    He's so right on and everyone, except the extreme left, know he is. More power to him for speaking the truth even when it hurts. He's got guts and I like him. Go Cain Go!!

    October 11, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. Allen Maui

    I think Herman Cain is onto something. There are people that are racist, but they are a very small part of the whole of society. He is "walking proof" that a man born into a poor black family can succeed. He is one of many. It is not the role of government to ensure everyone's bank account is the same. It is there to ensure each has the same opportunities. It is the responsibility of the individual to put forth the effort and hard work it takes to become "rich." I agree with him. "If you are not rich it is your own fault."

    October 11, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. Amunaka

    " conservative Neal Boortz talk show."....nuff said

    October 11, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  22. seraphim0

    This guy is a piece of work. The fact that he's climbing in the polls says a LOT about the state of the GoP front runners.

    October 11, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  23. CRB

    Cain has done so many good things in his life – so many accomplishments...what's wrong with his mouth?

    He is not being honest with America. He can't possibly want to be president the way he thinks.

    October 11, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. Jesus Fan

    Herman Cain, Herman Cain, you are alienating the black community with your insensitive comments. And I, for one, have no problem with you challenging Obama. I want the best person for the or or republican. Your comments surrounding the black community tell me you are not ready to run a country. The United States of America is comprised of many different classes of people. Your comments tell me you would only appeal to a certain sect.

    October 11, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  25. Ron

    Cain sure seems to be trying hard to alienate the Black vote in order to pander to the white conservatives. Of course all of the Republican candidates have been pandering to the right-wing religious segment and to the Tea Partiers. Now watch how quickly the one who gets the nomination will "moderate" in order to get the independent vote in the general election.

    October 11, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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