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. Tim

    As for the nomination of a black GOP candidate, never going to happen. Those of you bringing up Colin Powell and Condi Rice, you would have eaten them alive the same as being done to President Obama! Look at what happened to J C Watts, the rising star of the Republican Party in the 90's? He urged his party to tone down the hate and racist language only to be forced out. Left political office to be wtih family my ass!!!!!

    August 18, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • queenbee

      I think a black COULD win the Republican nomination–provided he:

      1. Was a black latino and was poised to pull Hispanic as well as black votes to the GOP
      2. Self hated enough to reassure whites of their own superiority
      3. Agreed and allowed the party faithful that he was and realized he was a token only to give up all sense of autonomy once in office (like Clarence Thomas)
      4.Was married to a white woman which would help greatly in underlining his own potential hatred of his own race and his desire to be "as white on the outside as he was on the inside"

      If a black could do that, he'd get the Republican nomination–Republicans have no problem with promoting blacks as long as they are from their own party and as long as they know that their place is beneath all the white Republicans-and frankly they have no problem with any minority provided minorities know their place and do not compete with them on jobs–but are content on the dregs. and no–I am not a Dem–but I am an observant Indy voter and I just called it like many blacks already know it is–even those Republican ones.

      August 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • dolleybird

      If a liberal wants to see a racist, he should look in the mirror. Among my friends, one person is an extreme liberal, and he is the most prejudiced person I have ever met. Liberals think that racists are only white people who do not like black people – that is so naive. Blacks who dislike whites just beacuse they are white are every bit as biased as the reverse. My friend would not vote for John McCain in 2008 because he was white, and he was a Republican. Of course, he does not even understand the distinction, and will not admit to any bias on his part.

      September 12, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bermille

    Totally agree. This country has gotten worse at racism rather than better. The chances of electing anyone but a white man again is highly unlikely. Sad.

    August 18, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Eric Reither

    I affiliate myself to no party, but was hoping powell was going to run in the last presidential election. I feel more people were compelled to vote for Obama because of his race than those who voted on a Republican ticket. Segregation is stronger now than ever, but seems to be that African Americans are the ones making that decision.

    August 18, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • queenbee

      It is sort of racist to suggest blacks only voted for Obama due to his race–if that was the case–where were the votes for Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisolm, Barbara Boxer , Al Sharpton and Dick Gregory when those blacks ran in the past? Could it possibly be the train wreck that was Palin and McCain led MANY of all races to go for the Dems? Could it be the FUBAR of Bush that pushed many into the Democratic camp and anyone who was not Republican was more likely to win?

      It is VERY racist to attribute the black vote of Obama to his race yet not attribute the white votes year after year to white candidates instead of to black candidates as NOT due to race–get the double standard? I do. I voted for Obama as the lesser of 2 evils as did many Americans and that choice was underlined by the lunacy of Palin and her insipid answers and the cluelessness of McCain almost every single time he opened his mouth.

      Finally–if race was why all blacks voted for Obama–what was their reason to not vote Republican when no black was running–and what was the reason the whites voted for Obama–was that racist too? Catch a clue–in 2008 just like now–the GOP allowed Looney Tunes to run so that in the end, people dared not vote for the clowns or the circus that the GOP put forth as their candidate.

      August 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • william

      I've read that blacks voted for Obama at a rate of over 95%, so there's no doubt that the white vote carried him to the presidency. But of white folk had voted for McCain, surely there would have been cries, perhaps legitamate, of the vote proving white racism. So what about that 95+% of blacks voting for the black man.... hmmmmmm?

      September 6, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. lauradet

    Didn't the Republicans want to enforce having African Americans and Latinos take a Litmus test before voting?

    August 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • dolleybird

      No.

      September 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CheeseSteak

    Of course the Republicans are recists. Silly question.

    August 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Larry45

      In your opinion they are racists. You're only saying that because they're white. Anti-racist is just a codeword for anti-white.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Ebony

      I agree with you and of course the GOP will use Herman Cain to say the GOP is not racist. It will make the GOP look good. The GOP needs a good boy like Herman Cain to "prove" they're not racist. Once they're done using him, they'll throw him back in the fields with Michael Steele and Bobby Jindel.

      September 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brian Abbott

    After Joe Wilson yelled "You lie" Bill Clinton said that his party had done everything to eradicate racism (something like that). When Obama beat Hillary in South Carolina and a reporter was asking Clinton what the defeat said about Obama Clinton replied that Jesse Jackson won in SC in X and Y years. Basically he implied that Obama won because of the color of his skin. I don't think Democrats have any more room to talk than the GOP. What Clinton said went much further than anything a GOP candidate has said.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Glengary

    Mass immigration and assimilation are being pushed on EVERY white majority and ONLY on white majority countries.

    This is a clear program of geNOcide for our racial group.

    Those pushing this genocide scream that they are only doing this in their OWN countries. They do not have a world view of it, and they cannot understand a world view of it.

    If this exact same thing were being done to EVERY black country, and ONLY to black countries, those same people would be screaming “GENOCIDE!” you can be sure.

    These "so-called "anti-racists" hide behind provincialism to ignore the global context of white geNOcide.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

    August 19, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill

      Clearly you believe pure white has more value than pure black because the children of a union of black and white eliminates the "purity" of both. But given that in God's universe, skin color has no value, perhaps it would be better if there were the type of "assimilation" you talk about ... then there would be no "pure races" except the human race, which is what God created. Understand this Glengary, if you do not repent, you will likely enjoy a long healthy life in your ignorance but your afterlife will be eternal hellfire.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jerry

    Moot point.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Babs Johnson

    What is a CNN?

    August 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. mike

    stupid question ... of course the right is racist everybody knows this ( exept the ignorant minority groups who have been brainwashed in to believing the republicans care about them ... idiots!)

    August 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. YoMod

    No not racists. They are just stupid. Perry is the Male Palin. This moron was asked if he will take a vacation in Martha's Vineyard like Obama and his reply, I am not sure I know where it is. Does this Bible thumper even know the states & cities in the US. I am sure he believes the earth is flat and the Jesus rode on dinosaurs and the earth is only 5000 years old as per his Evangleical followers.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • slider

      Just like Obama stated he had visited 54 states and still had 3 left to go.

      August 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Reginald Levi Walker

    This is the comment that got me started calling the GOP/Tea Party racist. The proof is in their own words used by their own mouths. I wonder did they understood the words that came out of their mouths would be used against them. : Tom Tancredo, who served for ten years as a Republican in Congress, said America's first black president was only elected because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country". Such tests were used to prevent blacks from voting during segregation and were banned by the landmark civil rights legislation of 1964.

    "What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd?" Tea party planner Capps asked. "He got hung. And that's what I want to do with Patty Murray."

    'I have to say I'm all for public flogging. One type of criminal that a public humiliation might work particularly well with are the juvenile delinquents, a lot of whom consider it a badge of honor to be sent to juvenile detention. And it might not be such a cool thing in the 'hood' to be flogged publicly.' "The Wisdom of Ann Coulter" in The Washington Monthly (October 2001)

    Racist GOP/Tea Party member Ann Coulter, I will not forget those shocking words. I will not forget because of Tea Party leader Mark Williams statement that Muslims worship a 'monkey god'.

    'I think there should be a literacy test and a poll tax for people to vote.' Ann Coulter's Commentary on Hannity & Colmes, Fox News, 1997-08-17

    I will not forget because of Tea Party leader Mark Williams statement that Muslims worship a 'monkey god'. Wolf, I hope the Tea Party leader Mark Williams realize that this same 'monkey God' is the same God Christians worship. By the way, you do know the term monkey is often used as a racist slur against African-Americans.

    In 1960, whites were 90 percent of the country. The Census Bureau recently estimated that whites already account for less than two-thirds of the population and will be a minority by 2050. Other estimates put that day much sooner. One may assume the new majority will not be such compassionate overlords as the white majority has been. If this sort of drastic change were legally imposed on any group other than white Americans, it would be called genocide. Yet whites are called racists merely for mentioning the fact that current immigration law is intentionally designed to reduce their percentage in the population.
    Ann Coulter's comments "Bush's America : Roach Motel" (6 June 2007)

    Then, let us not forget the fact that the white chairwoman of the Sumter Tea Party posting a joke on Facebook about killing the president and first lady. Then, NJ GOP lawmaker quits over wife's Carl Lewis email'. A Republican official says a freshman New Jersey lawmaker resigned because his wife sent "an offensive and racist" email to the Democratic state Senate campaign of nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis. Do you remember the e-mail sent by a Southern California Republican Party central committee member Marilyn Davenport showing an image, posed like a family portrait, of chimpanzee parents and child, with Obama’s face artificially superimposed on the child. Text beneath the photo reads, “Now you know why no birth certificate.”

    September 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mike

    They have pledged to sink the economy,which they did again, just get rid of the black man in the White House.

    September 4, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Gites Vacances Var

    That's some scholarly blog post!!!

    October 23, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. High Speed Broadband

    I dont disagree with this blog post!!!

    October 26, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
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