Herman Cain, who is currently running a close second to Mitt Romney ahead of tonight’s New Hampshire debate, isn’t backing down on the controversial rhetoric that has landed him in hot water since entering the race.
And maybe that’s a good thing. The ties between race and poverty — or lack thereof, according to Cain — do not get enough national airtime.
On Sunday Cain told CNN’s Candy Crowley that he didn’t believe racism existed in America any more: “”I don’t believe there is racism in this country today that holds anybody back in a big way.”
This prompted Cornel West, who is doing the media rounds to promote a new PBS documentary with Tavis Smiley about the nation’s poverty levels, to tell CNN yesterday that Cain should:
“Get off the symbolic crack pipe and acknowledge the evidence is overwhelming…Black people have been working hard for decades…I think he also knows that if brother Anthony Davis, a brother who was just put to death, were a white Wall Street banker brother, that the response in the nation would have been very different as opposed to being a poor black brother.”
Last night on Hannity Cain responded.
“I don’t have a lot of patience for the people who want to blame racism for the fact some people don’t make it in America….If you put your mind to it and you don’t play the victim card you can do whatever you want to do in this country. I am walking proof of that.”
And to West specifically:
“This is the difference between someone who has spent their life in academia and someone who has spent their lives in the real world… he is out of touch with the real world….[the Democrats and West] don’t want a lot of people to wake up, especially black people… they don’t want black people to think for themselves.”
As for the protesters on Wall St. he is not sympathetic.
“They’re just trying to legitimise themselves by trying to compare themselves to the Tea Party…they don’t have real clear objectives like that. Do they want the people in Wall Street to come out of their offices and write them a check?”
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