Herman Cain’s bigotry

WASHINGTON — If we didn’t already know this, here’s what Herman Cain’s regrettable campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has taught us: Black Americans are as capable of ugly and inexplicable prejudices as any other group. Our collective history as victims of ugly and inexplicable prejudices has not made us immune to the virus of bigotry.

So you knew that already? So did I. Still, Cain’s reflexive animosity toward law-abiding Muslim Americans has served as an unnecessary reminder.

In a recent appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Cain told host Chris Wallace that the U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to ban any mosque they don’t want built nearby. Having spoken out specifically against a planned mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Cain seemed oblivious to the fact that the people attempting to build the mosque are also entitled to First Amendment protections.

A retired Georgia businessman turned rightwing talk radio host, Cain had been building to that preposterous and discomfiting moment since he emerged on the campaign trail. In March, while attending a gathering of conservatives in Iowa, a reporter for a progressive blog, ThinkProgress.org, asked him, “Would you be comfortable appointing a Muslim, either in your cabinet or as a federal judge?” He said flatly, according to ThinkProgress, “No, I will not.”

That revealed not only deep-seated prejudices hardly befitting an American president but also an unsettling ignorance about the U.S. Constitution, which tea party supporters like Cain claim to venerate. There is no religious test for political office in this country. The Founding Fathers were attempting to steer their new republic away from the blood-soaked waters of state-endorsed religions.

While he flirted briefly with sounding more reasonable on the issue of Islamic Americans and their religious freedom, he couldn’t resist, in the end, reverting to nutty notions — common enough among paranoid ultra-conservatives — about Sharia law and an Islamic mandate to convert infidels. All the while, he insists that his bigotry bears no comparison to that he experienced as a boy growing up in the Deep South.

Cain was never going to win the Republican nomination. He’s politically inexperienced, ignorant about major policy issues and hardly highly-regarded among the big-time donors he’d need to fund a serious run. He enjoyed a brief boomlet among the GOP’s tea-party-adoring social conservatives, but he’s been eclipsed by their latest star, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Wisc.) It’s hard to see how Cain is more than an after-thought by the time the GOP primaries start next year.

But his candidacy will prove costly. He will leave the campaign trail having tarnished not only his personal reputation but also having contributed to the GOP’s difficulties with voters who are not white Christians. Ironically, Cain has managed to worsen the problems that the party has reaching outside its homogenous ranks.

Indeed, he perfectly illustrates the GOP’s current moment — an ever-shrinking tent of narrow-minded know-nothings who insist that those who come inside pledge absolute fealty to their most ludicrous pronouncements. As a black man, for example, Cain draws enthusiastic applause from rightwing audiences for his insistence that the tea party movement holds not a shred of racism. Perhaps Cain really believes that, but it sounds like the price of admission.

Moreover, he has enthusiastically castigated President Barack Obama, a tactic unlikely to lure many black voters, who take great pride in the nation’s first black president. Cain has not only cozied up to birthers, but he has also questioned Obama’s manhood, telling The New York Times that the president isn’t “a strong black man.”

Cain should have represented a breakthrough for the Republican Party, which hasn’t had much success luring substantive black men and women to its presidential trials. The GOP’s most memorable black presidential contender has been the clownish Alan Keyes.

As the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Cain has serious business credentials. He should have taken the time to develop a substantive platform so he would have had more to sell than clichés about taxes, disrespect for Obama and Islamophobia.

Instead, he became one more member of the GOP’s lunatic fringe. Oh, well. I guess the fringe needs diversity, too.

462 comments Add your comment

liberalefty

July 22nd, 2011
6:09 pm

nobody has killed more than christians

kayaker 71

July 22nd, 2011
6:54 pm

Organized religion has killed more people in the last thousand or so years than all of the wars we have fought and all of the diseases that we have conquered. Islam is just the “religion de jour”, the latest one in a long series of debacles that have had to put up with, but by far, the most dangerous. With 1.5B of these people world wide, we are at a definite disadvantage. Their doctrine, their elusive ambivalence toward other religions, their intolerance of others, their stand on woman’s rights, their spin on dealing with other cultures apart from their own……. it speaks volumes about who they are. If only they would take a substantive stand on the radical elements within their ranks and denounce what they are doing. But they remain mute most of the time, saying nothing. And we are supposed to trust them,allow them to build mosques, many of which are front organizations for raising money for the cause. Again, they are about as far as you can get from a “religion and I don’t want them on presidential cabinets, as judges in our court system or as my neighbor. I’ve seem about as much as I want to see about Islam.

ScubaSteve

July 22nd, 2011
7:05 pm

Who is “they?” There is no Vatican in Islam, and plenty of active Muslim leaders vigorously defend their religion against the extremist fringe group. Which “they” is it that must take this substantive stand in order to satisfy your ignorant stance?

“Their elusive ambivalence toward other religions”…please don’t make me laugh. Have you even been reading these posts?

stranger in a strange land

July 22nd, 2011
7:19 pm

…organized religion has killed more people in the last thousand or so years than all of the wars…???
Just curious – what church did Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot belong to???

reusha2000

July 22nd, 2011
7:36 pm

How much did Obama pay for this “HACK JOB”, CYNTHIA!!

Kamchak

July 22nd, 2011
7:37 pm

Just curious – what church did Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot belong to???

Whatsamatta?

Your google broke?

Let me google that for you.

Steve

July 22nd, 2011
7:39 pm

Religion of Peace dot com

Larry

July 22nd, 2011
7:46 pm

My turn to chime in on the conversation.Herman Cain happens to be a very successful businessman,he stands up for what he believes,he’s not afraid of being called an “Uncle Tom”.That says lots about him right there.What was Obama’s track record ? Community organizer ? What did Obama accomplish ? What were his credentials ? Obama is half white too.
Herman Cain has two black parents.He is 100% a brother.He is fully qualified for political office.
The black community is failing due to their historical and current thought pattern.
Just because Mr.Cain is outspoken about Muslims,doesn’t mean he wouldn’t make a great leader.
Maybe he has black haters because there are lots of angry blacks that become muslims in America ?
Having an outspoken man in the White House is a good thing.
Now is a good time for Black America to recognize something that may be better for all people and change their way of thinking.
Get behind this brother,he’s right here in the Atl.
Support someone positive for a change and stop giving your money to Eddie Long,Al Sharpton,Jesses Jackson,John Lewis,and other reverands,unqualified self appointed so called black leaders
People like Cynthia Tucker and those that follow historical black thoughts and political patterns are keeping the black race dumbed down.
It’s not working folks and there are undisputed statistics support the failures.
The black community is in chaos with issues.
Mr.Cain could provide solid leadership,set by example.

ScubaSteve

July 22nd, 2011
7:51 pm

By the way, heard any news updates yet about the Oslo bomber?

The truth

July 22nd, 2011
8:00 pm

Larry

its very simple…IF YOU ARE BLACK AND JOIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, YOU SHOULD BE SHOT….HE IS TRYING TO BE WHITE SO BAD, BUT THE TRUTH IS, WHITES COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE SUCKER!.

stranger in a strange land

July 22nd, 2011
8:07 pm

that was helpful – but simply tells me these ‘gentlemen’ killed in the name of anti religion (or atheism). To say organized religion has killed more people….etc, etc is disingeous at best.

Kamchak

July 22nd, 2011
8:08 pm

Kamchak

July 22nd, 2011
8:20 pm

…but simply tells me these ‘gentlemen’ killed in the name of anti religion (or atheism).

While it may or may not be true that each and every one of these mass murderers were atheists, to say that they “killed in the name of anti religion (or atheism)” requires proof that was their motive.

hobby

July 22nd, 2011
8:25 pm

kammy
……time to take your meds……

stranger in a strange land

July 22nd, 2011
8:33 pm

A) I’d say their overall ‘body of work’ is sufficient proof enough for me, or
B) read hobby’s post

liberalefty

July 22nd, 2011
8:34 pm

i bet none of you CAIN lovers will vote for him. hes just a minstrel sideshow to entertain the racist white christians

Kamchak

July 22nd, 2011
8:37 pm

……time to take your meds……

No meds other than the fermented grape, brewed hop water or the occasional distilled Scotch/Irish malt.

You seem to know a lot about when to dose, hobby-poo.

Years of practice, eh sport?

mormonromney

July 22nd, 2011
8:40 pm

no blacks in my administration. sorry CAIN!

Kamchak

July 22nd, 2011
8:41 pm

I’d say their overall ‘body of work’ is sufficient proof enough for me…

I’d say that you’re making too much stew from little or no oysters, but I’ll act surprised if it will make you feel any better.

:shock:

Larry

July 22nd, 2011
8:56 pm

The Truth
That’s like another common saying in the black community.
If a black kid is a very good student,has good dialect,doesn’t speak ebonics…..he’s acting white.
Does that make sense to you too ?
What about Codaleeza Rice ? Colin Powell ? They both served in a republican administration.
Would you say the same thing about them ?
When is the black community going to step up,make the right move to go in the right direction,instead of continuing in self hate and self defeat.
It’s not working and needs to be fixed.
Don’t you think it’s about time ?
Time to change your way of thinking.Think like a winner.
Herman Cain is a problem solver.

liberalefty

July 22nd, 2011
9:05 pm

@larry

we are thinking like a winner, we love OBAMA. CAIN is just a STEPPIN FECHIT bigot. but i know you, a white person know more about being black than blacks do. lol

stranger in a strange land

July 22nd, 2011
9:07 pm

not sure I have the oyster stew analogy figured out, nevertheless, I feel fine. Appears you do too. Have a nice evening….sport

Kamchak

July 22nd, 2011
9:14 pm

not sure I have the oyster stew analogy figured out…

And here I was thinkin’ you were a Heinlein fan. Oh well, live and learn….

Larry

July 22nd, 2011
9:28 pm

You guys always gotta have a short answer ? There’s never an intelligent response that responds to character,it’s always about your color.It shows that you have been dumbed down,don’t get it ,probably never will.You have been culturally conditioned by your own people to a pattern of thought that is not working for you,or your community.
There are black people that have come to this country in the last 20 years from banana republics like Somalia,Ethiopia,Nigeria,that are so far ahead of the american black community in education,careers,family structure.
How come ?
Stop using race as a weak excuse,it’s an embarassment to them.
And oh yeah,they are not moving to College Park,Dekalb,or SW.They are my neighbors out here in Cherokee county .
Obama is doing nothing for you guys,in fact,the government is so broke,your parents may not get their social security checks next month.
Herman Cain is a businessman who understands,knows how to balance a budget,be a great example for young black men.
He’s just what you need.
Why do you resist success ?
As long as you follow the old way of thinking,support unqualified poverty pimps,civil rights icons,you will always depend on government handouts and live check to check.

Arnold Butler

July 22nd, 2011
9:33 pm

If you want to have areal discussion, why don’t you tell us how you equate their constitutionally-protected free speech to flying jets into office buildings, and then having muslims world-wide dance in the streets in celebration?

You have a good point. But that is no different than the good white christians that celebrated while blacks were being hung and tarred and feathered here in the USA.

Jim

July 22nd, 2011
9:46 pm

@Casual Observer – Whoops. The terrorist operation in Oslo seems to have been the work of a Norwegian ‘Christian Conservative’.

Kamchak

July 22nd, 2011
9:52 pm

Larry

Why don’t you get your brother Darryl or your other brother Darryl?

I think either one of them would make more sense than you.

sam

July 22nd, 2011
10:09 pm

casual observer

July 22nd, 2011
12:27 pm
Now who was responsible for the bombings in Norway today? No way…. really? Shocking that it would be peaceful Muslims. That sort of thing rarely happens..right? I have no idea who Cain is trying to protect the American citizen from. Because we all know most terrorist don’t fit a certain category

what a douche!

Shaquitta

July 22nd, 2011
10:36 pm

“…Black Americans are as capable of ugly and inexplicable prejudices as any other group.”

Yes Cynthia you reaffirm that almost every time you write one of your rants.

Arnold Butler

July 22nd, 2011
10:42 pm

Larry

July 22nd, 2011
8:56 pm
The Truth
That’s like another common saying in the black community.
If a black kid is a very good student,has good dialect,doesn’t speak ebonics…..he’s acting white.
Does that make sense to you too ?
What about Codaleeza Rice ? Colin Powell ? They both served in a republican administration.
Would you say the same thing about them ?
When is the black community going to step up,make the right move to go in the right direction,instead of continuing in self hate and self defeat.
It’s not working and needs to be fixed.
Don’t you think it’s about time ?
Time to change your way of thinking.Think like a winner.
Herman Cain is a problem solver.

How can you compare Codaleeza Rice and Colin Powell with Herman Cain? Just as all Blacks don’t look alike…all Blacks don’t think and act the same. Thank God for that.

Kamchak

July 22nd, 2011
11:09 pm

The truth

July 22nd, 2011
11:23 pm

Larry
July 22nd, 2011
9:28 pm

that had to be the dumbest post I have ever read!…Any Black man who supports the REPUBLICAN party is a sell out!.All they do is start fake wars and give tax breaks for the rich, they are not for the Blacks..Cain is not for the Blacks, he is a OREO that deserves to be shot.. you are so brainwashed due to a LACK of education and the media, that I really feel like I am wasting my time responding to you…but

1.”If a black kid is a very good student,has good dialect,doesn’t speak ebonics…..he’s acting white.”

Not all White kids are good students, I graduated from a 80% white school, please quit acting like the white race is superior to Blacks, hell It’s more whites on government benefits than Blacks..most Black parents want their children to do well in school, but School is not for everyone, but due to your race voting crooks into office, it’s not any jobs!..I admit that Obama has not been great, but you and I know that the color of his skin is a BIGGEST problem America has with him..And before you say “we elected him”, YOU HAD NO CHOICE..No way can a smart man think that Bush was a good president, and with Mccain, it was only going to get worse!

2.”When is the black community going to step up,make the right move to go in the right direction,instead of continuing in self hate and self defeat.
It’s not working and needs to be fixed.”

Oh really?..Well, right now America is about to fall under and it is not due to “the poor”.It’s due to 8 years of Reagon,4 years of Bush sr, and I shook my head when the so called “smart” people of America elected Bush Jr twice..He started 2 fake wars and rich Whites decided that they were not going to pay for it, thats why the country is in debt..When will Whites stop voting crooks into office?

liberalefty

July 22nd, 2011
11:59 pm

@larry

we do like sucess, we like OBAMA. why dont u whites stop telling blacks who we should admire

chris

July 23rd, 2011
12:02 am

First, Bachmann is from MN and not Wis… Second, Cain is a Poven leader. CT said it herself… We need a leader and not a reader to turn this country around.
“Raising the debt ceiling is a failure of leadership (Sen. Barack Obama 2006)” Why is NOone in the media coevering this!!! Oh Yeah…. That is right– it is more meaningful and important for the GREAT WISE media to cover migrane headaches and a comment made to a reporter in the hallway several months ago.
I do not agree with Cain 100%, but an 80% friend does not make a 20% enemy… I believe he can turn this county ECONOMICAL problems around and that my friends is what needs to be topic of discussion… Not headaches and mosques….

chris

July 23rd, 2011
12:08 am

@shaquitta

I could not have said it better… CT does reaffirm bigotry is colorblind…

jesus

July 23rd, 2011
12:08 am

another hero like jared loughner for the right wing republican american natzi christian party to embrace

Hootinanny Yum Yum

July 23rd, 2011
1:45 am

Pot, meet Kettle.

Judge Jack Camp

July 23rd, 2011
5:34 am

I know one thing, Herman Cain can have a meth smoking stripper, but he better not have a white live-in girlfriend.

Strom "Garrido" Thurmond

July 23rd, 2011
6:01 am

Herman is like me, he’s anti-muslim during the day and raping his underaged muslim housekeeper at night.

Larry

July 23rd, 2011
6:34 am

Vote for Obama because he is black.
Everything is Bush’s fault.
Any black person who supports the republican party is a sell out and is trying to be white.

Jack

July 23rd, 2011
7:48 am

It’s not Cain’s religion that’s blocking aid to children in Somali.

carlosgvv

July 23rd, 2011
8:04 am

Men, women and children are starving in parts of Africa because Muslim radicals won’t allow UN food relief to be delivered. Millions may die. In some Muslim countries, if you convert to Christianity, you are killed. I don’t want people with that mindset building Mosques in America. When politicial correctness leads to even more crazy religious people here, I draw the line. Cutting off you nose to spite you face is never a good idea.

HDB

July 23rd, 2011
9:01 am

Larry

July 23rd, 2011
6:34 am

Lest you forget:

1) Prior to 1964, the preponderance of black people voted FOR the GOP….but since the Southern racist element infiltrated the GOP, the party loyalties shifted.

2) Colin Powell was derided at the GOP Convention for SUPPORTING Affirmative Action

3) Since 1965, the GOP has been anathematic to minorities

4) Those minorities that are “condoned” by the GOP are those of means

Check your history…then you’d understand MORE than just the party line!!!

Typical Liberal

July 23rd, 2011
9:15 am

Tucker, the racist pig that she is and always has been, has the nads to write that Cain is a bigot. I love it when black liberals attack conservative blacks and call them racists. Tucker, you are a pig.

Typical Liberal

July 23rd, 2011
9:19 am

HDB, least you forget that the democratic party has done everything it can through it’s social programs to keep the black community in check and under their control. All you have to do is look at people like Tucker who deamonize any left conservative of color. Slavery is not dead, it is alive in the democratic party. Difference is the top slave owner is black. Oh, accountibilty? Dems can not even spell the word let alone define it.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 23rd, 2011
9:48 am

Your Idiot Messiah has as much love for the productive class as Cain does for Islam.

Mary Elizabeth

July 23rd, 2011
10:17 am

There are those who play upon the fears of others, and there are those who expose that fact and who encourage others transcend their fears. Thanks for your column and for your efforts to enlighten.

snoopy

July 23rd, 2011
10:25 am

Herman Cain for President!!!!

If you were in a towelhead country you could not speak in public & would have to walk 10 paces behind your man! STFU!!!

Cynthia – Go make me a sandwich you babbling token!!!

Edex

July 23rd, 2011
10:28 am

Seems to me CT is bigoted towards any black conservative. After Norway, the world needs to wake up and take severe action against all Muslims. The good Muslims are no help whatsoever. Unfortunately, Muslims only understand force. Herman Cain has every right not to choose Muslims for his administration. I support his view 100%.

ATLol

July 23rd, 2011
10:36 am

In the 80’s and 90’s the GOP was open enough ideologically so that as long as you were uncomfortable with runaway government growth, you could identify yourself as republican. I am sad to see the changes of the last 10-15 years turn the GOP into a less ideologically tolerant party than I ever remember the democrats being – and they were really bad. It seems the republicans are living down to the liberals worst accusations.