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. the prophet

    cono stiop blocking my post

    August 17, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    About Perry's TEXAS. What state rank's dead-last when it comes to citizens who have health insurance per capita? The same State that ranks tied for dead-last with Mississippi for citizens with minimum wage jobs per capita, Texas, who also rank's in the bottom ten states when it comes to education funding. Texas does have a lot of oil and a lot of prisons though.

    August 17, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    Perry's Texas reminds me of Clinton(s) Arkansas by the time slick-Willy and Hillbillary were done scamming them.

    August 17, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. Maxww

    America is cursed, the damned have taken over all the media, government, educational systems. It is time for another Mayflower exodus OUT of the damned atheist Marxist genocidal Darwinist Antichrist anti-life globalist UN slave nation of the USA.

    August 17, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Granpa

      PLEASE...be on that ship!

      August 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BobNAlabama

    Regardless of what GOP supporters think or say, racism is at the core of their opposition to President Obama. Racism will always be an element of the GOP that attracts followers to the party.

    August 17, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. hippediva

    Perry's Texas is a monument to Mexican crime..

    August 17, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    Check that. The USA's overall crime-rate is worse than Mexico's, especially when it comes to corporate crime and kidnapped children.

    August 17, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ms Draco And The Weasels

    @maxww: The only way out is death and belief in a kind loving creator. These demons will continue to rule and twist everyone's brains.. We allowed this to happen, so we must leave before our soul gets too faded.

    August 17, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. saywhat

    We are not racists just haters, hate & fear mongers.

    racism is well & alive in this land of ours. In Missisippi teenagers have been arrested for setting out on a mission to find a black person & kill him . And they did.

    Spewing religious hatred, racism, fear & phobia has become a norm on our socio-political scene.
    God help us.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Josh

    A few comments: #1 I've met a few racists who were Democrats. They were African American. The idea that a racist must be Republican is ridiculous, AND racist in and of itself. #2 A sign at a rally that says "Take our country back" is not an automatic indication of racism, just because the person holding the sign happens to be white and the president happens to be black. That person holding the sign also "happens" to be a Republican and the president also "happens" to be a Democrat.

    In 1865 Democrats founded the KKK.

    In 1913 a Democratic president introduced segregation into the federal government. His successor, a Republican, scrapped the policy.

    In 1957 a Democratic governor of Arkansas sent National Guard troops to prevent 9 black children from attending a white school. The Republican president at the time sent U.S. Troops to counter him.

    In 1963 a Democratic governor of Alabama stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama to block its integration.

    Why does the media give the Democratic Party the license to decide what's racist and what isn't, and then label the Republican Party racist whenever it tries to enter the discussion?

    August 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. msyellarose

    Not racist? Really? I call BS on this one. These people are making all of this this noise because they have a hard time swallowing the fact that someone of color is in the White House. Worse yet, they were willing to throw the entire country under the bus during that debt ceiling fiasco. Not just racists, they don't care about their fellow Americans either, of any color if it means trying to make the president look bad. Look, never mind the ethnicity of the man in the oval office. If you honestly care about the country you swear you love soooo much, quit acting like elementary school boys and work with the man to get our country on track and back on top. That's all that should matter. Grow up GOP, many of us are just d*#@ tired of hearing this garbage.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      It's not his color they have a problem with, it's his policies.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • queenbee

      And yet–in protesting his policies–out come the signs with monkeys the emails with watermelons, chimps. fried chicken and foodstamps–didn't see anything like that before EVER–no matter how much people disliked the other party's policies–so why now?

      August 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    @ msyellarose

    well said.
    Pity is that there are many out there who are swayed by rhetoric which can only be termed anti-American at best. Noise which is against all that this country stands for.
    I recall a Tea Party rally where a woman was walking around with a placard depicting a chimpanzee and the slogan'Obama go back to Keynia' while people cheered her.
    Is this what we have become at the hands of nuts and racists who call themselves politicians.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Grandma

    Okay, I am an 87-year old woman living on Social Security and MediCare and I am not in the best of health. I am trying to understand (at my age, it's not so easy). If the Republicans / Tea party wins the White House in 2012 along with the majorities in the House and Senate, are you telling me they're going to cut off my Social Security and MediCare benefits that I worked to fund my whole life? I worked over 50-years. That is not responsible on the part of the Republicans. Also, without MediCare, how exactly am I supposed to continue my chemotherapy? This is terrifying me.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. michael quake fisher

    black white pink purple in the end we all have our hate greed envy perversion and crime. it's just that it is more whites in these states so we so more of theirs exposed.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • queenbee

      Then there is the need to maintain the status quo and when that is in play–certain groups must continue to be villified in stats and the media while crimes by whites are ignored or downplayed. Whites cannot stand the idea of a level playing field –of days when being white is not enough to grant some sort of privilege by dint of skin color–look for the racism and ugliness to get uglier and uglier as whites trend toward minority status–in fact, look for the very idea of THAT to head us towards ethnic wars and all hell to break loose. Secretly most whites know very well how they are privileges and what they have done and continue to do to minority races especially blacks–and they would not EVER accept placing themselves in the same place without a fight. LOOK FOR IT

      August 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fernace

    @ Granma, In a word, Yes, that is what they want to do! If you're not rich, white & repub-teabag, they don't really have any use for you! I'm 35 years younger than you, dear Grandma, but they have no use for me either! That's why Obama/Biden 2012!!

    August 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
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