Candid Cain Is Suddenly Too Black For GOP Faithful

How does Herman Cain become the bad guy for telling the truth, something every true blue member of the GOP says they want to see more of in a candidate? If you are a Republican, you really need to stop for a second and ask yourself—what other answer could a successful African American who has never shied away from the color of his skin possibly give to such a loaded question about race that wouldn’t sound like he was the second coming of Stepin Fetchit?

If Mr. Cain, who has suffered recent loss of key campaign staffers and is averaging in the teens in presidential nomination polls, was really seen as a serious contender for the nomination, he might find that his recent comments to Christiane Amanpour on ABC’s This Week about Rick Perry's connection to the Niggerhead Ranch could put his candidacy in jeopardy with conservative Americans. 

One of the things that has made Cain an appealing choice to a lot of his conservative supporters is his unwillingness to back down when he believes he is right on an issue. But Herman Cain is about to find out what President Barack Obama knows all too well—serious black presidential candidates in this country are going to be forced to reconcile any rhetoric on race with a white America that is still extremely sensitive about the role their forebears played in the creation and maintenance of this nation’s systemic denial of racial equality to African Americans.

 “Cain now showing his true colors”

Quote from commenter

“I did like Herman Cain, until he played the race card today.”

Quote from Fox commenter

“Cain has condemn himself with his false, evil words.”

Quote from commenter

To assume, as some of these comments suggest, that because Herman Cain doesn't constantly use racially tinged rhetoric, he can somehow "escape" how he looks and how Americans are prone to feel about someone who looks like him is a ridiculous assertions, but it is one journalists in TV Land have been debating ever since Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election.

Step back far enough to look at the big picture, and suddenly, in the middle of a presidential nomination process, with another debate a week away, the Republican Party finds itself forced to deal with race, an issue many consider its Achilles heel. It’s an issue Cain himself has addressed candidly in the past.

"Here's my theory," said Cain, leaning forward in his chair.  "Let's talk about the current field of Republican candidates.  They can't go after Obama as hard as I can because they're not black.  I think that, either subconsciously or deliberately, they are being coached to not say it a certain way, that you're going to be labeled a racist and the liberal media is going to try to bring you down, because they still want to protect their precious Obama."

Cain believes his audiences are a different story. "The voters, they hear my message first, not 'He could take it to Obama,' because they are more concerned about stopping Obama than taking it to Obama," he explained.  "This is what I'm hearing and this is what I'm feeling.  And the race card is going to be short-lived if Herman Cain gets the nomination."

Herman Cain sounds off on race

I actually saw Cain’s interview with Christiane Amanpour of This Week when it was broadcast on Sunday. I liked Cain’s answers, even though I got that sinking feeling as I watched Amanpour stare at Cain that these were the kind of loaded questions that leave black candidates for any statewide or national elective office at a disadvantage. Unlike President Obama, who is prone to attempt to calibrate answers to questions like this as if they are specifically designed not to upset the world view of white Americans, Cain had no problem telling it like it is—“there ‘isn't a more vile, negative word than the N-word, and for him to leave it there as long as he did, until before, I hear, they finally painted over it, is just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country.’”

Mr. Cain, the GOP’s racial reconciliation beefcake pin up, is likely to find out over the next few days that Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, was right—we as a nation are cowards when it comes to dealing with the issue of race in America.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
Strange Maps
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less