Herman Cain's Racial Offense

Tea Partiers are delighted that their support of Cain proves that they don't dislike black people -- but his words suggest that he might, writes Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page.

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GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain (Getty Images)

In his Chicago Tribune column, Clarence Page says that the Tea Party appears to be delighted that their support for Herman Cain proves that they are not racist. Unfortunately, based on his language, Cain doesn't seem to like black people much.

It says a lot about America's racial progress that the former Godfather's Pizza CEO has surged to first place with a 4-point edge over Mitt Romney in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll -- a poll that also gave Cain a 69 percent "favorable" score among tea-party backers.

Yet, one also wonders how much of the Hermanator's rise has benefited from his trash talk about black people and other minorities.

Exhibit A: He said on CNN that black voters have been "brainwashed" into not "thinking for themselves" or "even considering a conservative point of view." Funny, but I didn't hear similar complaints when black voters -- like me -- said they would be delighted to consider Colin Powell, if he were to run. But, oh, yeah, Powell is a moderate Republican, a nearly extinct breed in today's tea-party-fueled GOP.

Exhibit B: Cain has described the Democratic Party as a "plantation" for black voters. In fact, plantation politics were cited in the 1960s when blacks walked away en masse from the party of Abe Lincoln. Conservative Republicans nominated Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona, who voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Read Clarence Page's complete column at the Chicago Tribune. 

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