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

    The integration of colored people after white people evolution is why white race us superior.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. one day when pigs fly

    Look MOTHER F.....KER, go back to the hole you live in. No need for retards here!

    August 16, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Little Suzie

    raven? Fredrick Douglas begged Abraham Lincoln for years to abolish slavery. He wrote Lincoln dozens and dozens of letters pleading and reasoning with him, but was ignored. And really, if not for Africa's oil and diamonds being worth more than Africa's people, slaves would still be sold to slavemasters for worldwide distribution just like before. Probably mostly to Arab slave masters as before too.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Humber

    That's right. It's always there.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. the prophet

    One does not need to go far to understand that colored people are still evolving, look at Bronx.
    Nobility is an heritage not an entailment, be petient malcomx followers another thousand years.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • queenbee

      ...and yet.... when or if the white race evolved, it is evident that a large portion who share the same skin color have not evolved at all. What a sad state to try to pretend to be racially superior then have people like "the prophet" who can neither spell form a coherent sentence....it makes a mockery of the very idea of any type of superiority but especially where intellect is concerned. LOL Hey Prophet–no matter how many Lincolns or Jeffersons or Neil Armstrongs or anything else–it still is not YOU and you appear to be a failure or the dregs of whatever race you think you represent....

      August 20, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Little Suzie

    Now you know why so many African-American's are muslim. When their ancestors were sold into slavery by their own tribal leaders, the Arab's who purchased them forced them to convert under threat of death.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cranky

      So only Americans of African heritage are muslim because they were forced to convert? Good new for all those blacks in other countires, I guess. Also American blacks that didn't come from Africa.

      "African-American"...what a racist, egotistical, self-centered, patronizing phrase. Feel better for saying it now?

      August 17, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • queenbee

      Your retort makes no sense. ALL blacks came from either Africa or Australia. It matters not if they are now in the Caribbean, French New Guinea, South America, Central America, Europe or here in the states–originally they were brought over from Africa. But both you and the other poster are ignorant. The conversion of blacks to Islam began in earnest in the US in the 1950s and really picked up steam during the 1960s when many blacks wanted to define both the terms of their names, their relationship to white society, their choice of religion, and their own perception of themselves. This is the time period when blacks rejected the stereotypes and requirements whites placed on them to fit in, rejected how they were to wear their hair or who in the black demographic was hireable or marketable based on features and skin colors. this was also the time in which many who converted decided they liked the idea of Islam as opposed to the Eurocentric depiction of Christ–THAT is the reason many converted. As for the bs about Arab and conversions it should be understood that Spain, Sicily, and parts of France and Holland were under Moorish rule, with the result that many with darker hair and curly hair are like Johnny Depp a product of mixed heritage and the combination of white and African ancestry. As for who sold slaves–nothing done in Africa was not done elsewhere and nothing done by Africans absolves whites of what they did to Africans–there is room enough for all groups to share and to have separate and individualized blame for that particular evil.

      August 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fernace

    Here's what I know! It would be wrong to say we are no longer predjudice toward races in the 21st century America! I'm also going so far as to say that the Republican-Tea Party are extremists who have eluded to getting Obama out of office & have refused to work with him because he's not white! But the way politicians behave is not necessarily how we citizens behave! I think all races of this country use race to insult eachother! It's equal opportunity bigotry! But we also stand up for eachother & don't think it weird to have friends or significant others of a different race than our own! I think Hispanics are much more maligned these days! We call them all Mexicans & illegals & don't care to hear anything different, such as they are 3rd generation from Bolivia! But the Real question is: would we elect a Gay POTUS!? @ Little Suzie, ya crack me up!!

    August 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • queenbee

      We probably already have elected a gay POTUS–as long as he kept it in the closet and had a wife as a front. A lot of men who are married are secretly gay–so yeah we would–but I can almost guarantee we would not elect a gay black POTUS or a Lesbian black POTUS.

      August 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tim

    @one day when pigs fly: you write like one of those flash mob rejects.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©


    Oh, Lord, a gay POTUS?
    You've opened up a can of worms on that one, lol!
    *That's* a pipe dream!

    August 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. one day when pigs fly

    Tim, You have no place here, go away little boy!
    @ Fernace... Obama is HALF WHITE please this man is NOT a racist, that much I can tell you! toodles

    August 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Humber

    Little nobility here.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jj

    thats a racist question In the first place! here comes the liberals just in time for the Election period. coincident? i think not. we have palin and bachman and all libs do is knock them! thats s*xism coming from the left. very predictable sad to say

    August 16, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    @one day:

    It's a pity people don't recognize that he's half-white.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. one day when pigs fly

    @ Fernace ... Gay Potus will NEVER fly with white, black or teapartiers dude

    August 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. raven

    @littlesuzie: I wouldnt call myself a victim but I was a target of racism as a kid. It made me resent people with southern accents til I matured so I guess even Im guilty too. Why you usin that s/n if ya dont mind my askin ?and hows the weather in CO? that IS you,right ?

    August 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
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