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. Nicole

    It's very possible that he can talk about the issues just fine. However, I'm tired of race constantly being an issue. I want to discuss what's happening in America with all the people. I wish African Americans the very best, but I wish that for everyone.

    October 11, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. Chrisg510

    Pack it in a go home Cain, you are done.

    October 11, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. Gene Brady

    The token speaks and says dumb stuff. How come the republican party doesn't "dress him up"? You know, the black riding cap, riding boots, red jacket.....

    October 11, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. Cuss

    what a fool. is there even a remotely intelligent, tactful republican candidate at all? seems not.

    October 11, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. JC

    Well, it was about time for Cain to finally do what he needed to do to gain acceptance from GOP primary voters. He was going to have to eventually show that he buys into the nonsense of reverse racism.

    And of course, he had to do it on Boortz', a true racist's racist, radio show.

    Please, we beg you, just go back to selling crappy pizza.

    October 11, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  6. Kirk1

    I am a 69-year-old black woman and find Herman Cain to be utterly disgusting. I vote for whom I know is for ALL Americans, not because the person is black or white, Republican or Democrat. He needs to just shut up and stop insulting folks. My goodness. I am sick of him spewing this garbage.

    October 11, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  7. no1atall

    The people whose support Cain wants do not like to discuss racism. They know racism is supported by institutional, cultural and financial barriers to housing, employment, bank loans, etc. Black people can make racist statements, but how many whites are denied employment, financial opportunities, housing, or are profiled by the police just because they are white? Boortz understands this, which is why he "corrected" his boy Herb.

    October 11, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. Alkebu

    I suggest that Mr. Cain should learn the meaning of "Racism".... He is confusing bigotry or having a critical opinion for what is popularly assumed as racism. So, I am not taking him seriously because a person in his position striving for such a lofty elected office should choose his words more deftly.

    October 11, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. Sandy

    Why is everything about race with this guy! The right always claims the left is playing the race card, and that's all Cain has done since he's been on the scene!

    October 11, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  10. CC

    Tavis is right, there is almost no reason to respond to this idiot, I am not black and I hear the things said about blacks all the time, I see the road blocks put in the path very often to slow their progress. So while many do suceed it's not the same path that the rest of us have to journey to get to the top. This man is so out of touch with reality that he doesn't realize he is nothing more than a puppet for the Republican party, much like the house negro during slavery...

    I can image he leaves a horrible taste in the mouth of most blacks, as he does most whites that live in the real world.

    October 11, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  11. Billy davis

    Each day Herman Cain shows how big a clown he is. Claiming that black folks are more racist than white folks is laughable. Let me know when a white guy doesn't get hired for being white? Let me know when a white guy gets a DWW? Let me know when a white guy is shot 42 times by a cop. Let me know when a white guy gets followed while shopping. Let me know when when Herman Cain has the gonads to say a lot of white people are racist.

    October 11, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  12. RedMan

    This guy is walking a very slippery slope...and when he trips and falls – does he really think there are going to be a bunch of white conservatives at the bottom to catch his fall?

    He will soon find out which side the bigotry hat fits best....

    October 11, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  13. Richard-George

    The way black liberals talk about Cain, you would think he went out and personally lynched other black people! Sersiously, it's amazing to hear how black liberals talk down Herman, when Herman Cain epitomizes the potential for poor blacks – neigh, ANYBODY – who have the desire to better themselves, and their lives. Cain grew-up a poor black in the south, and look where he is today. Black liberals, especially those like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, are threatened by Herman Cain. Why? Because Cain can prove, first hand, that blacks do not need so-called 'leaders' like them, and have no need to be dependent upon the government. Cain threatens the very living these 'leaders' make, keeping blacks dependent upon them. Cain is living proof that you can do whatever you want in America, if you have the desire. Jackson and Sharpton do NOT want poor black people to see THAT. It would put them out of business!

    October 11, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. Pat in il

    What a warped viewpoint. Everybody's "experience" is their matter what color or ethnic background they are. Why does he think that being "po" is some kind of virtue in itself. What an idiot.

    October 11, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  15. RealityKing

    Liberal America is clearly not ready for a straight talking black man.

    October 11, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  16. Steve in texas

    Rich dude out of touch with reality? Who'd have thunk it.

    October 11, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  17. Keith B.

    While I agree with the sentiments of Cain and really like what he has to say about other topics, I'm afraid this may have been his undoing politiically speaking. It is refreshing to see honesty in a politician however. This is real change that I can get behind.

    October 11, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. jane

    It is really clear now....Cain is being used as a political tool.....

    October 11, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  19. B W Styles

    Cain's deluded. Racism is institutional, cultural, financial, etc. While Blacks can and do make racist statements, they do not deny housing, bank loans, or profile white motorists. Boortz knew this, which is why he felt the need to "redirect" Herb.

    October 11, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. bob ho

    Thank you Herman, the truth will set us free.

    October 11, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. CTYank

    And he just keeps stringing these pearls of wisdom. What planet is this guy from?

    Seems the Repubs like intellectual isolationism, in a manner of speaking.

    October 11, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. Joshua Ludd

    So lets recap... if you are black and a democrat, Herman Cain says you are brainwashed and a racist. But, of course, he is careful to never talk about any racism in the GOP. Maybe when they start comparing him to a monkey he will finally get it.

    October 11, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Race has nothing to do with it. The guy is a shill for the right wing. Let's cut wealthy & corporate taxes more and make up for it by tacking on an ADDITIONAL 9% sales tax on the family of four living off of $50,000 a year. That's the American way.

    October 11, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. James in Dallas

    I'm voting for Obama, again, because he is so far above all of these people. The Republicans have nothing to offer America at all. My personal favorite is how they have hijacked "liberal" and made it into a dirty word. I'm LIBERAL, and proud of it.

    October 11, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  25. Bob

    Is there some kind of rule or implied understanding within the republican party that only very stupid people can qualify as republican candidates? This is a very stupid individual who probably slimed his way into a business position where he collected huge amounts of money for essentially doing nothing. The salaries paid to corporate executives have nothing to do with free-market econsomics or merit – it's a club, the memebers of which are obscenely compensated only for being members. Those with even a few functioning neurons would recognize that their fortunes result from playing corporate politics and luck – but not from having provided anything of value to anyone. The employees are the ones who provide value. But very stupid people, like this guy, seems to think he's actually done something. Why not have candidates that are sufficiently well educated to actually have meaningful things to say about the world around them? Education is not elitist – and if republicans continue to strive for the lowest common denominator, along with so many others in this downward-spiraling country, there won't be a country left to provide political jobs.

    October 11, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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