Cain charges some in black community of racism
October 11th, 2011
05:51 PM ET
11 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. Chris

    SOME? SOME! No, MOST of the blacks in America are racists. They don't even recognize themselves as Americans, but have to hang a tag on themselves that will help keep them apart from Americans for all eternity.

    October 12, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. jaymac

    Everyone was a racist in 08 if you even thought about voting for anyone besides Obama. Now the left once again shows the double standard of their "free thinking ways". Neil Bortz is absolutely right when he says most people dont know the difference between a Racist and a Bigot. No one in political history has changed and ignored the rules of the constitution to fit their own needs as much as the Democratic party has this current presidential term. I have always said the president is not alone there are plenty of people to blame. Obama has done very little except make mistakes on shovel ready jobs, hand out bad loans to his own special interest (Green Energy), drive up the cost of medical care by up 9% from 2010, and just give away our money. Gitmo is still open. Why because it's needed. Everything else he has done has been showboating. Lets get a business man in the house someone who knows how to make MONEYand is not worried about your wittle feelings.....Go Herman Cain

    October 12, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. Cammie about playing the race card! Cain comes out the gate stating blacks are brainwashed. He doesn't want Muslims in his cabinet, stating he's a "real' black man compared to President Obama because the President has a black Mother. Well if the President isn't a real black man then why is he depicted as a monkey and an african witchdoctor on Teaparty signs? Why did Colorado Rep Doug Lamborn compare the President as a 'tarbaby?' Why did Pat Buchanan and Rush call him 'boy?"

    Nothing is more vile than a black person endearing themselvves to Conservatives by racially insulting people of his own race. Its not the President's fault nor a handicap that he is bi-racial. Seems like to me that Cain is among that SOME in the black community that is racist and will NOT get 1/3rd black vote.

    For him to be so black, during the civil rights era he was cowarding in the corner during his 1st year at Morehuse while others got hosed, bitten by dogs, shot, beaten and lynched to make it possible to wag his finger at those no good negroes in front of Master Boortz, Trump and Rush.

    Cain is the type of Uncle Ruckus black that would sell off his own into slavery to the Europeans and Poruguese
    if he was borns in the early 1800s.

    Keep insulting blacks and poor whites Cain, don't think your church, Antioch Baptist is not above Sean Hatin Hanny's scrutiny. The tapes will be ordered and played. The Pastor will be investigated and you'd better hope he meets the scratch and sniff test or you will be thrown out of he RNC inner circle and Foxnew as a commentator, like Michael Steele who could only gt a job on MSNBC.

    October 12, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  4. greekfire

    There is something about this gentlemen that seems awkward. I am not sure if it is his last name (Cain) or his 6-6-6 plan—I'm sorry—his 9-9-9 plan.

    October 12, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  5. James

    Tell Mr. Cain to go to Alabama and walk at night in a white neighborhood and put on some overall blue Jean and call me back the next morning.

    October 12, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. cameron foster

    Whats wrong with all you bashing on Cain just because he is a republican? you all better do your home work cause I have done mine!!! we need to get that socialist Obama out of there. America cant take 4 more years or we are doomed. I for one like my capitolisim . you dont know what you got till its gone so wake up america. We need a guy like Herman Cain in office and at this point any republican will do!!!

    October 12, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  7. Dave

    Wow, I can really feel the love out there. Amazing how many are bashing the one man that is not a political hack. While I can’t or won’t make excuses for his candid expression of words or feelings that apparently have offended so many I do have a news flash… Political correctness is dead and it is time to deal with the HERE and NOW! The blame game is what is screwing us all. We have to go beyond that rhetoric now more than ever. Racist this and racist that, he is racist, she is racist, they are racist…I believe every individual has a smidge of racism within in which most instances are not intentional or divisive in nature but just a negative element of who we are as the human species. I am an independent voter and all professional politicians scare the hell out of me. Cain is the one person who speaks his mind and is not afraid or candy coat regardless of the consequences. No tap dancing, no dodging questions. He says it like it is. It is his opinion based on his life experiences. Do you think he was born with a silver spoon in hand? Heck no! He stands behind his words be it right or wrong in opinion of others but he, over any other front runner or the current president, has the potential to initiate a new fresh perspective and vision for America to focus on and conceivably take us out of this finacnial crater this administration has dug us into. What I hear Mr. Cain saying is simply this; In America, any individual who has the drive and perseverance, can realize their own destiny if they truly want to achieve it but don’t depend on others or politicians to take you there. If you are lagging behind you have to pick yourself up and move forward without looking back or place the blame on the others.

    October 12, 2011 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  8. Josh from GA

    I love that people on here have been fired up about Herman Cain saying what others wont. The fact that alot of you are outraged by this is because it struck a guilty nerve. The man is a straight shooter and you better get used to it cause that man will one way or another be apart of the next administration. NoBama 2012 is a not so distant reality. He is just this generation's Jimmy Carter and the next president will be our Ronald Reagan!!

    October 13, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  9. Queen B

    Where did the republican party get this clown from? I don't think anybody wants to be poor. What exactly is the "black experience" in America? Why does Herman Cain have so many negative things to say about blacks? I applaud Mr. Cain on being a successful businessman and I agree it takes hard work and dedication to be successful but he is under the delusion that he is the only black person to do it. There are many successful blacks in this country. the only person brainwashed is Herman. He actually thinks the tea party will support for him if he gets the nomination. I agree people need to help themselves but he needs to take his blinders off racism still exists in this country. Where was he in the summer of 2010, during the health care debates? It is sad that he will sell his soul and dignity for a couples of minutes of fame. Enjoy the ride Hermain, the crash will be ugly. Why doesn't he try to encourage people rather than talk down to them and who's hand is up this puppet's but. He is truly a circus barker.

    October 13, 2011 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  10. Numyorangay

    "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."

    Unbelievable. Unbelievable. I guess Herman Koon didn't have to sit in movie theater balconies, drink from "colored" only water fountains, have to go in the back door (but that's another story), couldn't walk on the same sidewalk as white people. . . Rules sometimes become habits; over the years what we were not allowed to do became, in some instances, an unchangeable mindset. . .as the maid in "The Help" said, "no one ever asked me what I wanted for myself." Hard to have a vision when you've been blinded to your own abilities. It is absolutely disgusting and Harry Belafonte is absolutely spot on for calling Herman Koon on this. . .this man is using a whole race of people to further his self-ends; not all the bleach in the world's gonna make him white. . .and by the same token, he might be fueling something good here, further unearthing the 'bigotry", the preference of his correcting white commentator, that is true relation of the racism that exists.

    October 13, 2011 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  11. letitia butler

    i am a black female i have friends of all nationalities. for some reason i t's hard for some white people to understand the racism carried out against blacks. i guess because they have never been discriminated against because of color. no matter how you try to explain it to them they just don't seem to be able to understand. now cain should, because his ancesters were slaves, but of course he must have gotten an f in history. he is unqualified. and a disgrace.

    October 13, 2011 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  12. Bruce

    I really like Cain. Like Clarence Thomas, he takes so much heat form the liberal fringe because a black conservative is the most dangerous person to them. He renders liberals unnecessary because he doesn't need them or the government. The "A" in NAACP is for advancement but they really only want to advance liberals. People like Cain and Thomas are advancing in spite of the NAACP and if you don't think they are black you need to see an optometrist. If you are a black person, who do you want for a role model... a success like Cain or a failure like Jackson or Sharpton?

    October 13, 2011 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  13. centrist111

    First, he said that if you are unemployed, and are not rich, it is all your own fault. That comment, evidently, applied to all races.
    Now, he says that, in particular, black people deserve to be poor. Oh, and they are racists...and brainwashed.

    So, he has no sympathy with blacks as a group, and has no pity on the unemployed and unrich.

    When you are president, you are president of ALL the people...not just the rich and...uh...non-black. After you have thrown those groups under the bus, who do you think will vote for you?

    But as this set of comments shows, he has successfully dodged explaining how he will get the country back on solid footing by getting people yelling at each other. So he gets air-time, and doesn't have to come up with any real ideas. Great politician, poor excuse for a human being.

    Rick Perry self-destructed already (though he may not yet realize it).
    Herman Cain is clearly not president material. Scratch him at the gate.

    Romney is a windsock...

    The Republicans better come up with someone electable or we have four more years of lame duck.

    October 13, 2011 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  14. Ronnie

    He was poor but once you are not poor it is easy to start putting down the poor than to actually support them.

    Not all black people are the same as he is. There are many places all over America that are much different than that of where he came from. We do not put all white people in the same category when talking about hard working. There are just as many whites who will vote against him for the same issues that he brings up about lower and higher class. The fact that black people are voting against him is because he has seemed to loss his touch on where he truly came from.

    It is not that he has to make trips to the hood and "act black" but he has to understand that now, all his goals and aspirations for making a better America does not relate to any lower class (black or white). And while not all black people in America are lower class, that is where the majority are. You're not leaving the ones that do not want to better themselves behind, but you are isolating a whole race by making claims that because they are not moving up, that they are not trying. As he should know, it takes more than just being smart to get out the hood. It takes someone to have your back, some one that wants to see you do better, and someone willing to put in the work to help you improve yourself.

    If you're in the suburbs talking about how it is to be poor and black and becoming better....are you really getting your word to the right people?

    October 13, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
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