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. nostradamus

    Core electors of the Republican Party and Teabaggers rest in the racism. If they stop being racists, those Parties would dissapear due to a lack of membership. . Mr. Cain is an Oreo. He doesn't realize he's being used to give the legal perception the GOP is all fairness and plurality.... but he knows it's not true. .

    August 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catch22

      So a black Republican is an "Oreo/Uncle Tom" and a white Republican is a racist? Wouldn't happen to be a black racist yourself, would you? Of course not.

      PS: Thomas Jefferson, Old south, Slave owner, founder of the Democratic Party.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Skipper

    My take on Teapublican claim of not being racist.... Teapublicans: "We're not racist, everyone is purple to us. With that in mind everyone who is DARK purple, get to the back of the bus!"

    August 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gilligan

      Or to the back of the Ship!

      August 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jb

    Not all Republicans are racist. But racists always favor the GOP, and the party doesn't seem to mind.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. leeintulsa

    Every repub i know in person is racist to some degree, some fiercely and proud of it. If cain wins the repub ticket, vs obama, low voter turnout will break records.

    This is oklahoma. Yeah, by and large, democrats here are racist as well. They *are* more quiet about it than their repub counterparts.. Just because i look white (though indians claim me, too. Not being racist, it's all very confusing.. Some people make a study of what different races look like.. What a waste of time and effort..)

    Anyway, just because i look white, i get to listen to their crap as they think i'm one of them. It's so prevalent white people here just assume each other are racist.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lone Ranger

    @Lee: Shut up Tonto...

    August 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gung hoe

    Geez george wallace was democrat and im pretty sure he was racist And MLK was a republican pretty sure he wasnt racist Man am i confused

    August 17, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marv

      No need to be confused, just pick up a history book (an accurate one, not the Texas variety). It used to be that the Democratic party was the southern conservative party and the Republicans were more progressive. This changed when LBJ introduced the Civil Rights Act. That was when allegiances started to change and Nixon got the backing of the blue dogs and turned a lot of them from Dem to Republican to oppose the Civil Rights legislation. You're welcome.

      August 19, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. jwd153

    @gung ho

    I'm left handed and freckled, go figure these civilians-Semper Fi

    August 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jwd153

    @Grandma- fernace is correct. However, its not something that america will tolerate by any means. I'm sure you remember the early days when the only hope a person had was the graciousness of his church or neighbors. That was the day You could put your best foot forward and better yourself. Well, You still can. Don"t let the tea bagger scare you. There's still Americans with pride.

    August 17, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sherriw

    I'm not a racist either, unfortunately I shall not will not vote R nor T either. I also will ask plenty I know not too either since the R's is wayyyyy toooo radical. Sigh....Tsk. Tsk. and I thought the R's learned from their mistakes. P.S. Will vote Dem all the way! Too bad Ron Paul is an R. I think he's the only one with sense cause the others went straight to the lunny bin. Can't vote for Nut Jobs! Wake Up America!

    August 17, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Good posting, sherriw. Thank you.

      August 18, 2011 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. bigwilliestyles

    True racism is the fact that whites believe that all power and decisiom-making is their birth right. Look at the faces of the men of the debt debate; it speaks for itself. The only person of color involved was President Obama.

    August 18, 2011 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. George Patton

    The big irony of the Republican Party is that it was founded in 1854 by a flaming liberal whose name was Abraham Lincoln who was also an ardent abolitionist. Now today the right-wing fanatics control the very same party who are the very opposite of Lincoln! These people are racists to the core although they don't want to admit it. In fact, that's why they're letting this Herman Cain from Georgia run, knowing that he'll never get nominated in any case!!!

    August 18, 2011 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. freetospeak2010

    Everyone I know is racist.

    August 18, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. freetospeak2010

    Racism is going to brink us down as humans.

    August 18, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jean Sartre

    Look, neither the Tea Party nor the Republic Party are racist; they just don't like black folks or people with tanned skin...

    August 18, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    To Catch22...do your homework. The party Thomas Jefferson founded is now the GOP. There was a change in ideology after the passing of the Civil Rights law!!! As for the GOP being racist, my answer is HELL YES. Look at the demographics of it's members!!!!!!

    August 18, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
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