Overheard on CNN.com: We're not racists, GOP members say
CNN columnist, LZ Granderson questions whether a black GOP presidential nominee is a possibility
August 16th, 2011
05:13 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: We're not racists, GOP members say

"Could a black man win the Republican nomination? Never."
- Jilli

Will the GOP choose a black nominee?

In his column this week, CNN columnist and senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, LZ Granderson wonders whether a black candidate could win the Republican nomination for president. He says Herman Cain and the media should confront the question since race still matters in America.

Many CNN.com readers were offended by the implication that the Republican Party is racist, while other readers said it was a valid question.

1Truth2Tell said, “I find it a racist question asking if a black man could be nominated by Republicans. Both Colin Powell and Condi Rice would have been shoe-ins for the Republican nominations had they ever decided to run, so spare us the stereotypes.”

lgny responded, “The problem is that these two are NOT running. The Republican Party is currently dominated by red-necked populists who reject the thoughtful analysis that a Powell or Rice might offer. In many ways, the tea party is the reincarnation of the Populist movement of the early 20th century.”

cltbkr said, “Mr. Granderson, this is the first time I have ever thought that you were way off. I'm a Republican, and I'm pretty sure that most Republicans are not nearly as racially sensitive as you think they are. The GOP will never be able to shake this ‘racist image’ you speak of if yourself and the other columnists in the liberal media keep saying that the party is racist. Sure, there are a few oddballs living out in the woods who still think we are fighting the Civil War, but I think a lot of people are just hoping for the GOP to put forth a candidate that has the potential to do what Obama has failed to do, like creating jobs and spending responsibly.”

OnlySoMuch responded, “Unfortunately, there are some oddballs that are walking the halls of Congress ... not just out in the woods.”

ChrisMeece said, “ 'I'm not suggesting all Republicans are racists.’ Well, thanks for that back-handed compliment. It is nigh impossible to debate your side because you see a racist behind every corner. Our party appointed the first and second black Secretaries of State: Where was the rampant racism then? Had Condoleezza chosen to run for president, do you have any idea how much support she would have had from our side? Race is much more important to your side. I read countless posts about how these black Republicans are Uncle Toms. The reason Herman Cain hasn't dealt with the race issue is because we don't care about it. Personally he is my choice for the nominee. He is not only a great speaker, he is a true conservative.”

Sa8ntpancake responded, “I'm willing to say it. I've seen the tea party rallies, I've seen Republican rallies. They may not ‘all’ be racists, but they are infested with racists.”

LowKeyinAZ responded, “I really don't think he's pulling the racist card here. It is a legitimate topic, and he makes some very valid points. Not to mention, in my experience, not all Republicans are racist, but all the racists I've seen are Republican.”

guru2u2 said, “First, I live in the Deep South and the majority of us could care less if our president is white, black or aqua. We want a leader. Someone with common sense and the knowledge to run the military and the economy.”

wleonard said, “Look at the title for crying out loud! The title of the article is racist in itself!”

coolnance said, “There is no way the old white boy network would nominate a woman or black man for president. Whether you agree with Obama policies or not, he still is everyone's president and deserves respect. He gets NO respect from the GOP. They are appalled a black man is in office.”

odonna responded, “They are appalled that a do-nothing idiot is in office. If he were purple, they would be equally appalled.”

santosaint said, “Perry/Cain 2012! That is one ticket I could vote for and has nothing to do with race. ... Perry just has the qualifications as Texas' long-serving governor, but Cain would bring the down-to-earth conservative principals. Both are Christian, and I think this ticket is THE TICKET to win in 2012.”

ColdStone said, “Well, members of the teabagger party held up signs of Obama with a bone through his nose. They are the ones who always yell, ‘we will take our country back.’ Teabaggers represent the extreme far right faction of the Republican Party. Considering a majority of Republican congressman are ‘punking out’ to the Teabaggers demands, there is no way Herman Cain has a chance.”

CNNDebbie said, “No, I don't think the GOP will elect a black man. They had a problem with their own Republican National Committee Chairman and couldn't get rid of him fast enough. So, no. The GOP cannot elect a black man at least in the near future.”

BART takes heat

After protests interrupted the BART subway system in the Bay Area, officials say the trains are up and running. But cutting off cell phones, which BART officials say they were forced to do to protect passengers’ safety, is now coming under attack.

CNN.com readers saw both sides of the issue:

msacks said, “The Constitution does not guarantee you, me or anyone else a right to make cell phone calls. It does not guarantee you that you can protest wherever, whenever and however you'd like (that's not what free speech is). It does not guarantee you that trains will run on time nor stop where you want them to. And it does not guarantee that police officers won't commit crimes and shoot people (although it does guarantee that when those officers are put on trial, they will get judged by a fair jury ... which happened, and found the officer guilty of a lesser offense than these protestors are happy with).”

GeneralTso said, “The main reason why you can't yell ‘FIRE!’ in a movie theater is because it impedes on the safety of those around you. Even though you have ‘freedom of speech,’ if it affects the safety of others, safety overrules your right to freedom of speech.”

Sitnalta said, “Safety overrules your right to freedom of speech? Not in the U.S. it doesn't. The First Amendment says we have the right to peacefully protest. So as long as the protesters don't impede the operation of the trains or riot, the BART officials can't just arbitrarily make up some safety-related malarkey.”

Guest101c said, “Protesting against your government now impedes the safety of those around you. Check. Also, some people in an area are protesting, so everyone in that area loses their rights.”

Smack55 said, “All in the name of safety arguments? Very dangerous road to take when protests become safety issues and must be dispersed. Even more dangerous is of the cutting of cell service. That's a private entity, and citizens pay private money for that service. What right does the government have in suspending the transaction between a private business and a citizen? This makes the U.S. government look like hypocrites when compared to the protests in the Middle East.”

Reinhartt said, “Speech that has a ‘probability to incite violence’ is not protected, but I don't think it's BART's decision to make in that incidence. It would be the place of the courts.”

notation said, “No, ‘every place on American soil’ is not a free speech zone. There are limits to free speech. You want to protest, then do it in a way that doesn't endanger and inconvenience other users of BART who have paid for the use of the system.”

Nice doesn’t pay

According to a new study, niceness - in the form of agreeableness - does not appear to pay. There are upsides to being nice in the office, such as being better-liked by co-workers, the authors say. But the bottom line, according to four studies they conducted, is that "agreeableness is negatively related to income and earnings."

Here’s what some CNN.com readers thought about the findings:

pat39 said, “I'll take earning a little less over being an a*shole any day of the week. When I die, I want to be remembered for being a good person. Not for being a d*ckhead to people.”

Jinx said, “Trust me you won't be remembered by your ex-colleagues if you were nice, but if you were important or different.”

Rhacman responded, “@Jinx That's funny, because the co-workers I remember the most were the ones who treated me well and valued my input despite my difference in opinion. These same people are the ones that I hear back from whenever they see job openings at their new places of business. If someone asks if you can think of anyone who you would refer for a job opening who are you going to pick? Someone you worked well with or the guy who refused to compromise and was always dismissive of your input? Nice guys finish last ... if you measure using a jerks ruler.”

drowlord said, “Nice and ethical are not the same thing. Friendly people can (and do) screw us every day.”

galacticaman said, “Wow, that explains why we have crazy people ruling the world. All really smart and talented people just can't get there because they're too nice.”

dfsal said, “Steinbeck said the same thing a long time ago: ‘It has always seemed strange to me that the qualities we admire in men – kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling – are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest – sharpness, greed acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest – are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.”

Fricsaid said, “I was always taught that you get more flies with honey then you do vinegar. Courtesy may not make me rich, but it does contribute to a happy life. I'll take happy over money any day.”

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. Philip

    @when pigs fly. How about we just call you Fly.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Media Man

    As in (go Fly a ....) LOL
    ahhhh No, how about Super Fly
    Night I pooped and if you agree to Super Fly, It will be such!

    August 16, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jazzzzzzzz

    Psalm 23

    The Divine Shepherd

    A Psalm of David.
    1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
    he leads me beside still waters;*
    3 he restores my soul.*
    He leads me in right paths*
    for his name’s sake.

    4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,*
    I fear no evil;
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

    5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
    you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
    6 Surely* goodness and mercy* shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
    and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.*

    August 17, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      I fail to see what a bible passage has anything to do with this article.
      Anyways, I think most Republicans ARE racist seeing them being infested with rich, spoiled brats thinking money is everything in the world. Obama is right. The country is more important than the parties involved in this.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. justathought

    ====================================== Were did that Little Suzie go? I think Little Suzie was a guy. The type of sarcasim sounded male to me. Cuold have been a lesbian I suppose. =================================

    August 17, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      Psalm 23

      The Divine Shepherd

      A Psalm of David.
      1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
      2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
      he leads me beside still waters;*
      3 he restores my soul.*
      He leads me in right paths*
      for his name’s sake.

      4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,*
      I fear no evil;
      for you are with me;
      your rod and your staff—
      they comfort me.

      5 You prepare a table before me
      in the presence of my enemies;
      you anoint my head with oil;
      my cup overflows.
      6 Surely* goodness and mercy* shall follow me
      all the days of my life,
      and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
      my whole life long.*
      ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      August 17, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. justathought

    ====================================== Were did that Little Suzie go? I think Little Suzie was a guy. The type of sarcasim sounded male to me. Could have been a lesbian I suppose. =================================

    August 17, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      Psalm 23

      The Divine Shepherd

      A Psalm of David.
      1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
      2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
      he leads me beside still waters;*
      3 he restores my soul.*
      He leads me in right paths*
      for his name’s sake.

      4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,*
      I fear no evil;
      for you are with me;
      your rod and your staff—
      they comfort me.

      5 You prepare a table before me
      in the presence of my enemies;
      you anoint my head with oil;
      my cup overflows.
      6 Surely* goodness and mercy* shall follow me
      all the days of my life,
      and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
      my whole life long.*

      JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ

      August 17, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jazzzzzzzz

    Psalm 23

    The Divine Shepherd

    A Psalm of David.
    1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
    he leads me beside still waters;*
    3 he restores my soul.*
    He leads me in right paths*
    for his name’s sake.

    4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,*
    I fear no evil;
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

    5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
    you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
    6 Surely* goodness and mercy* shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
    and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.*

    LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

    August 17, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jazzzzzzzz

    Psalm 23

    The Divine Shepherd

    A Psalm of David.
    1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
    he leads me beside still waters;*
    3 he restores my soul.*
    He leads me in right paths*
    for his name’s sake.

    4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,*
    I fear no evil;
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

    5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
    you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
    6 Surely* goodness and mercy* shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
    and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.*

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

    August 17, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. Fern Viking

    Hey, it is I tha fernace, comin' to ya live & direct/not usin' a tag, I'm in effect/this is my real name, not perpetratin' a fraud/ I'm genuine, I swear to God! So as you can see Philip-Suzie, my blog tag contains a lot of truth! Fernace is 1 of my nick names along with, Fern Bern & Fernibelle! To whoever called me "dude" earlier, I'm decidedly not! But I aint mad at ya! Since we're all sharing & coming out from behind the keyboard, I'm a Swedish/Norwegian immigrant with Roma ancestry! That means Gypsy for those not familiar! My Norwegian family is fullblood Tartar, I'm a 1/4, so I'm very familiar with predjudice! As most of you are aware, Gypsies are not a favored people, to put it mildly! Let's face it, Europeans hate my people! Hitler killed them right along with the Jews, or any race that didn't fit the Aryan mold! My mom & greatgrandmom feared for their lives every day the Nazis were stationed in Norway! As we can see from the posts on this blog, predjudice is insidious!It's no good for any of us!!

    August 17, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. gwats

    Someone had the gall to quote the 23rd Psalm here. Herman Cain is so evil, even I, as a Black man of his generation would refuse to acknowledge even his very presence on the Planet. He's a clown, a GOP Stepin Fechit, a clown in Blackface who is too stupid to realize what a traitor he is to his own people. This man does not represent me. I Support my President, OUR President. Black racists need not apply for my vote.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      Even though I am certainly not African American, I do agree with you. I find no point in why he would spam this comment wall with biblical passages. I do support our President, for I admire his way of moving American's with his most inspiring speeches. I do not care about the skin or ancestors of a person, but what ideals and morals they believe in.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. gwats

    Any Black, any Latino, who thinks there is a place for them @ the GOP table is right.... It's located in the kitchen, near the back door where the servants eat. Bring your own Silver and napkins.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. susan

    It's "shoo-in"

    August 17, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. fernace

    Thanks gwats for giving your take on the current race issue & how it relates to the GOP! I've known many rich folk (who I worked for), who were republican & it seemed though they were not overtly predjudice, they all had that white superiority (complex, lol!)mindset! While I have no desire to defend them, they treated me with a similar superior air! As I stated earlier, I'm part Roma Tartar, but my Scandinavian heritage is dominant in the way I look! In another time it could be said that I'm "passing," so as far as the rich repubs I was white just like them, yet not on their level- I was "working class"! These superficial distinctions are very important to some people! Curiously, I didn't find that separation amongst the rich democrats that I worked for! The few libertarians were a toss up, as were other independents! Party afiliation must have some psychological bearing on peoples mindsets & who they deem "worthy"!!

    August 17, 2011 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. fernace

    I also support OUR President as I have repetedly stated on numerous blogs! Not only do I feel Obama is a very fair minded person, he doesn't seem "spoiled" yet like so many career politicians! He belives in his job & will put eveything he has into making things right for the country & it's citizens! He's smart & articulate & he, Michelle & the girls have put True family values & class back into the White House! I don't see 1 repub candidate that can come with all that, none can compare, especially considering the belligerent behavior of some of them & how willing they have been to sell out the People for their own agendas! OK, back to bed, insomnia be damned!! God Morgon to all!

    August 17, 2011 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sara

    I agree with coolnance. "coolnance said, “There is no way the old white boy network would nominate a woman or black man for president. Whether you agree with Obama policies or not, he still is everyone's president and deserves respect. He gets NO respect from the GOP. They are appalled a black man is in office.”

    It sure seems like this is true with the way the GOP has been acting and I'm sure having a black president is what fueled the tea party to start up in the first place. Being from the midwest I've known a lot of Republicans and I cannot think of one who was not a racisit.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sara

    I agree with coolnance. "coolnance said, “There is no way the old white boy network would nominate a woman or black man for president. Whether you agree with Obama policies or not, he still is everyone's president and deserves respect. He gets NO respect from the GOP. They are appalled a black man is in office.”

    It sure seems like this is true with the way the GOP has been acting and I'm sure having a black president is what fueled the tea party to start up in the first place. Being from the midwest I've known a lot of Republicans and I cannot think of one who was not a racisist.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
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