Overheard on CNN.com: Cain is wrong about black Dems
GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain says black people have been brain washed into not considering a conservative point of view.
September 29th, 2011
07:17 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Cain is wrong about black Dems

Comment of the day:

Let's see if Clarence Thomas and Cain can get a support group going. - The RNC (Righteous Neanderthal Circus)

Is the black community politically brainwashed?

Herman Cain, the only African-American running for the GOP presidential nomination said Wednesday the black community is "brainwashed" for traditionally siding with liberal politicians.

"African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view," Herman Cain said on CNN's "The Situation Room.”

But most CNN.com readers who posted comments said Cain was way off base.

Moderate Sean said, “The ‘Black Community’ is not brain-washed into voting for Democrats, they vote in their best interest since the Republicans do absolutely nothing for this community, minorities in general, and the middle-class at large!”

Straight Shooter said, “Yah, brainwashed into thinking for themselves. If they would only just let Republicans make their decisions for them, life would be so much better...”

Rudy NYC said, “So when Mr. Cain finally turns his head around and speaks to the black voters he is less than cordial. He lectures them that they have been misguided and misled. Mr. Cain, I don't think it was hard to tell who was for the King holiday and who was against. It wasn't hard to tell who was for 'separate but equal' and who was against. It wasn't hard to tell who fought for fair housing laws, and who fought against them."

Mr. Cain, it wasn't hard to tell who was for allowing blacks (like yourself) into the military, and who was against it. It wasn't hard to tell who was for Affirmative Action at a time when our nation needed to enforce leveling the playing field, and who was against it. It isn't hard to tell where you stand Mr. Cain, and where you used to."

Russ said, “I give the African-American community credit for being smart enough to not vote for rich white men or rich black men that want to take what little many of them have left. Unlike the poor white people in this country who buy into the Republican brainwashing that they will help them. Yeah, help them make the rich in this country even richer.”

S.positive said, “Though not African-American, please tell me what the Republican Party has offered to AAs for their votes? I am trying to think of one…"

Um said, “Orrrr maybe they realize that the GOP is the party of the Rich, White man? Rich, White men who don't particularly care for them? Brainwashed? No, they just know what's up!”

Lost in Texas FOREVER said, “So I would like to ask Mr. Cain since WHEN have Republicans come to black communities to seek their votes? In the last election I don't recall Sarah Palin having rallies in black areas, although I will give Sen. McCain credit that he DID visit the NAACP. But a lot of black people figure the GOP is not interested in them and look at them as only wanting a handout. The so called brainwashing is because Democrats DO visit minority areas, seeking the vote and talking to the people there. You should try it sometime because despite what a lot of people may think blacks are not going to vote for you just because you're black. You can look at who comes out to see people like Cain and Allen West and it's not a very diverse group.”

Me said, “BRAINWASHED?! No, we are not brainwashed. Republican elected officials consistently legislate against minorities....consistently.
They were against the Civil Rights act
They were against the Dream Act
They were against equal pay for women
They were against the abolition of Don't Ask Don't Tell
We were not and we are not brainwashed. We simply see, hear and feel the effects of Republican legislation. YOU, Herman Cain, have been brainwashed into believing that the GOtP accept you as an equal.You are a token. You are a pawn. You are a tool. You are a cover for the racist agenda for the Republican Party. By the way, How much Tea Party support have you gotten?"

A few readers agreed with Cain.

WDinDallas said, “Uh, oh. It's not politically correct to tell the truth. See what happened to Bill Cosby!”

Tony 140 said, “Way to go Herman. You are right on. It's about time that we had a conversation regarding what political and economic philosophy would most benefit the Blacks in America. Just look at the education, employment, crime, poverty etc statistics and you can only surmise that what we have been doing for the past 50 years hasn't been working. A significant majority have essentially become ‘slaves’ to the government. I also think that Blacks are now ready for different answers to their same old questions. Herman Cain and Congressman West are the only two taking this issue head-on."

Brian said, “Cain is completely right... under every single Republican president since Nixon, black home ownership has gone up. Can't say that about Democrats."

Regional accents still going strong

iReporters were asked to share their regional accents as part of CNN iReport’s cultural census which examines characteristics that define the American population. A map highlights recordings of people from around the country reading a passage used by linguists to study speech patterns. The result is a fascinating look at American accents.

CNN.com readers shared their own thoughts about accents:

shmeckell said, “I get a kick out of my boss from road island trying to say ‘squirrel.’ ”

SCBrown said, “I grew up in Philly and live in South Carolina. There are people down here I can't even understand. I just wave and keep on going. “

mcooney said, “What I absolutely hate is when people say a Philly accents sounds like a New York accent. I blame Sly Stallone for that.”

ogive17 said, “I'm from Ohio, our accent is as boring as it comes.”

Guest said, “It’s not the sound so much as the vocabulary. In Indiana everyone is always 'looking' to get involved, while in Tennessee they are 'fixin' to get in. SoCal teens do favor 'like' while folks from Joysie say all kinds of things too numerous to mention. Downeast Maine has a nautical flavor I would expect from Ireland or Scotland, and NOLA natives can keep me laughing hysterically just telling me what's for supper.”

Solat14 said, “When I was just out of college I moved from Chicago to Houston and brought my south side 35th street accent with me. More times than I could count I would be refused service in a bar or gas station because of the accent in my voice. Just as northerners view southern accents as unintelligent, southerners view ours as intrusive and weak. It's amazing how your accent can generate preconceived notions.”

BrightBetty said, “Growing up my family was split between Northern and Southern accents, and being a military brat, my accent developed its own uniqueness. To Northerners, I sound Southern, but to the Southerners here where I live, I sound Northern. To me, I just sound like Betty.”

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 (55 Responses)
  1. A.Rose

    "African Americans have been brainwashed into not being open-minded". Mr. Cain, WHO has brainwashed African Americans? Do you realize how you have insulted the African American community by suggesting that it doesn't have the ability to think for itself? Did it ever enter your mind that maybe YOUR thinking has changed since you became a wealthy man?

    September 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • l polk

      I couldn't have said it better.

      September 30, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • dolarbil

      You make it sound like it is a betrayal to your "people" to change your thinking to be based on your socio-economics instead of your race. At some point in your adulthood, you start to make decisions (politically) based on how policies impact YOU and not people who just look like you. If we ALL thought individually, whether that leans right or left, the politicians would not be able to push our buttons so easily to get elected and then ignore us all in office unless we write a check.

      October 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • dolarbil

      AND, before you accuse me of being something else, I am an American.....don't call me African-American, though.....I dropped that silly dash a long time ago....I have ancestors from at least three continents and am proud of all the ethnicities flowing through me.....regardless of which one has the more dominant genes....

      October 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TIUX123

    I am thirty-nine, african-american and I live in a southern state, but what Mr. Cain said is true for some black americans. Today's black generation is not brainwashed, but the old gerenation is. Many blk americans vote straight democratic "WITHOUT" knowing what the runners stand for. What he said, only bothers people who wants to turns their head to the truth.

    October 1, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • twismin11

      The same thing can be said about any person dealing with either party. whether you are white, black, hispanic, asian, gay, religious, etc.The average INTELLIGENT person deals with the issues, what a person stands for and what their agenda is for the future. If I was blind, would I vote for blind candidate just because they were blind? Hell no ! Anybody that does any different is both crazy and downright dangerous to all the rest of us.

      October 2, 2011 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Niko_in_Oakland

      TIUX123 – I am a 40 year old African-American male who was born & raised in the South. While I understand your point, I think that you fail to realize that the GOP has always been quite vocal in their "uneasiness" with people of color, especially Black people. Older African-Americans, whether you know it or not, tend to be more politically engaged than young people. A majority of them do tend to vote for the Democrats and that's mainly because they remember who stood up with us and for us when we had no voice in this country, something that they still do. You say that they don't know what most Democrats stand for which may be true; however, they don't really need to as long as Republican candidates are very loud about their opposition to everything that Black people, and most people of color in general, believe in. All that they need to know is that the Democrats don't agree with what is being said. I am someone who is highly political and I am more than willing to give both parties a chance to woo me. However, as someone else pointed out, the Republican party does not even try, and, when they do, they pull out the Micheal Steels and Herman Cains as their token spokesperson. Both men, while highly intelligent, come off as arrogant and seem to have forgotten where they came from.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sharon. Gray

      Well said and oh so true.

      October 17, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. A.Rose


    That's my point. I don't believe a person's thinking should change just because his or her wallet gets fat. If a person cares about his fellow human beings, it's about the greater good, not about what I can get for myself, and make sure I can keep it.

    October 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Donald in CA

    The name uncle tom was invented during slavery for black sell outs such as tom-herman cain and uncle clarence thomas. Charles manson will be out of prison before a black man or women win the republican nomination for president.
    Tom cain will learn that most whites dont look as blacks as their equal, so go home tom cain and toss some more of those Italian pies.

    October 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Danny

    Black republicans are a joke. You realize they fought AGAINST your civil rights in recent history right?

    October 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      It kills me when blacks say Republicans are against them but Democrats aren't. Who fought for voting/citizen rights? Oh, Republicans in the 1800's. Who tried to keep blacks from good schools, from voting? Democrats like Gov. Wallace, etc.. in the 1960's. DEMOCRATS have fought against equal opportunity for the blacks, yet they IGNORE THE FACTS because they want all the freebies the Democrats give them. ITS ABOUT GOV'T HANDOUTS THEY WANT, NOT FACTS.

      October 14, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dan

    It was the Democrats, aka the "Dixiecrats" who voted against all the civil rights bills of the 1960's. Bill Clinton's hero and mentor, William Fullbright, Al Gore's father and the rest of the bunch all voted to keep blacks on the plantation. BTW, do you remember what party Abraham Lincold was a part of? Clue: The Republicans.

    Now the liberals, progressives etc. have destroyed the Black Family by making welfare payments more lucrative, if the father was not in the house. The result, 80% of black families have no man around. Fathers are necessary for children.
    Black men have the highest rate of incarceration, because their Dad's weren't there to beat their butt, if they didn't do the right thing.

    Liberals keep blacks on the plantation by promises of hand outs and Black Politicians should hide their faces in shame for supporting illegal immigration, that lowers wages for all Americans. They support the idea that the commissars in government are the "Big Daddies" with a stash of cash, as long as you vote for the Dems. How has it worked out for you so far?

    Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Rational answer NO. Free yourself and don't be an robot at the ballot box. Free your mind to examine all of the candidates and what is best for YOU!

    October 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Niko_in_Oakland

      Dan, you are half right! The Dixiecrat Democrats did vote against the Civil Rights Act. Right after it was passed, they split from the Democrats and joined the Republican party. That was part of the political realignment which took place in the 1960s. Today's Republican party is NOT the same "party of Lincoln." If you are going to throw something out there as fact, you might want to do a little research first (think: Michelle Bachman) so that you are not disseminating false information.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ken

    Cain is such as breath fo fresh air. As a white prson and a tea partier, I can say, I love this guy. If I were truly racist, I would think I woudl never supoort a Black person for president. But I am, and I love Cain. I am not racist and do not believe Cain is a sell out to his "people". Rather , he is a beacon of hope and yes, I truly believe many Blacks, and whites, and many of all races, are , and have been brainwashed by the liberal eltie.
    Cain/Rubio! All the way!

    October 14, 2011 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. Susan

    If you look at history, DEMOCRATS have fought against black people going to good schools, getting to vote, etc...in the South for 100's of years. The only reason black people now vote democrat is that Dems promise them free government money, and they want the handouts. Its about MONEY not about HISTORICAL FACTS. Blacks hate Republicans because they stand for personal responsibility. Dems ignore the fact 55% of blacks drop out of high school, ignore the fact 65% of all black kids are born to single mothers for 30 years...Dems blame the gov't for the black communities problems, whereas Republicans blame lack of community responsibility.

    October 14, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. No_Fool

    Cain avoids the truth. Rather than name calling (Brainwashed), he could try analysis (thinking). Since Nixon, the repubs have stuck with a southern stategy appealing to white southerners particularly males. African Americans response to that strategy, in not brainwash. If Earl Warren (Republican Cali Gov and Supreme Court Chief in school deseg) were to run as a repub today, the party would not elect him to be dog catcher.

    October 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
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