The Herman Cain Guide to Race and Politics
Our take on some of the black Tea Party candidate's most memorable sound bites.
Join Us for a Nonracist Tea PartyGetty Images
In response to actor Morgan Freeman's allegations of racism within the Tea Party, Herman Cain explained, during a September 2011 appearance on Fox News, that you really can't get a true sense of the group's agenda without meeting up with them in person: "Well, first of all, I doubt if Morgan Freeman, with all due respect, who is a great actor, has ever been to a Tea Party ... Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Parties ... about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party." Was that an invitation? If it was, we're guessing Freeman might be busy.
Black Democrats Equal Slaves. And I'm a RunawayGetty Images
In a new video (er, music video -- take your pick) from the Herman Cain campaign, a country singer lyrically proclaims the former Godfather's Pizza CEO "a true son of the South, born and raised the American way." Evidently, an authentic upbringing in this country centers around fleeing the racial oppression of the left. "You see," Cain says, "I left that Democrat plantation a long time ago, and I ain't goin' back."
Captions by Jenée Desmond-Harris
I'm So Black, It's FrighteningGetty Images
“The liberal mainstream media ... They are doubly scared that a real black man might run against Barack Obama.” Yes, that's the most frightening thing about this GOP candidate: the terrifying authenticity of his blackness. Just for the sake of clarification, is it Obama's white mother, his failure to discriminate against Muslims or his refusal to parade around in a cowboy hat that makes him a fake?
I'm Not Like Other Blacks -- Especially That OneGetty Images
"Now people are over this first black president thing … there are some people who will say, 'I'm not going to vote for another black guy because this one didn't work out.' And my response is, 'Well, what about those 43 white guys you put in there? How did they work out? Don't condemn me because the first black one was bad," he told the New Hampshire Union Leader. We highly doubt "he'll be another Obama" is near the top of the list of concerns about Cain.
There's No Racism in the Tea Party
"To those who say the Tea Party is racist, eat your words" is another zinger from the "Get on the Cain Train" campaign video. And surprise! It features an appearance by an African-American supporter who happens to agree, explaining, "When people ask me about the Tea Party, they ask me if it's about color, and I say, 'Yes it is, it's about red, white and blue.' " Two black people said it. It's settled.
I Personally Deem You NonracistGetty Images
"They call me racist, too, because I disagree with the president who happens to be black … it ain't about color; it's about if you disagree with the liberal leader, then you must be a racist … I got a breaking-news announcement for you: You are not a racist, you are patriots," Cain told his supporters at a CPAC conference. We can practically hear him adding, "And if anyone says you are, you just tell them that's impossible because you have a black friend: me!"
I Have Redefined RacismGetty Images
In an interview with The Root's Cynthia Gordy, Cain said, "I have probably spoken at over 100 Tea Party rally events all over this country -- there's been no racism." No one is saying the entire Tea Party is racist. But really? No racism at all? At 100 rallies? Thank goodness for political fact-checkers, because either racists ran for the hills when they saw Cain coming, or he's fudging the truth a bit. Or perhaps the definition of the word "racist" excludes calling Obama an "arrogant Kenyan" and proudly displaying the n-word.
Better Yet: 'Real' American Black ConservativeGetty Images
"By the way, it's OK to call me black ... I am an American black conservative. An ABC. OK. It's OK. It's OK. I'm not hyphenated," Cain told an interviewer recently, before launching into an explanation of how a certain African-American president "hasn't served the people of this country very well." No better way to distinguish yourself than to insist upon different racial terminology.
What About the Democratic Plantation?Getty Images
"My great-great-grandparents were slaves, and now I'm running for president of the United States of America," Cain says. "Is this a great country or what?" It is. We'll give you that. It was great long before you emerged onto the political scene, too -- but you're making it a lot more interesting.