The Bigotry of Herman Cain

kareem.jpg

I have to agree with Conor, I can't really recall a candidate--in recent memory--that was as bigoted as Herman Cain. This is just appalling:


He did have a slight worry at one point during the chemotherapy process when he discovered that one of the surgeon's name was "Dr. Abdallah." 

"I said to his physician assistant, I said, 'That sounds foreign--not that I had anything against foreign doctors--but it sounded too foreign," Cain tells the audience. "She said, 'He's from Lebanon.' Oh, Lebanon! My mind immediately started thinking, wait a minute, maybe his religious persuasion is different than mine! She could see the look on my face and she said, 'Don't worry, Mr. Cain, he's a Christian from Lebanon.'" 

 "Hallelujah!" Cain says. "Thank God!"

Conor again:

The other group he has targeted -- the other group it's safe to target in a Republican primary -- are illegal immigrants: after saying he'd build an electrified fence on the border with Mexico that would kill anyone who tried to cross, Cain later explained that he was joking. Are dead immigrants his idea of a punchline? He's never explained what he found funny about electrified fences. Given the flak that Rick Perry got over that epithet on the rock that sat on a property where he hunted, the relative pass Cain has gotten for telling multiple ethnic jokes during this campaign is notable, and I don't think a white candidate could've gotten away with it.

I don't know about that last part. I do think Cain's base gets a kick of a black guy being bigoted. But I don't that a white candidate couldn't get away with what Cain is doing. 
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

From This Author

Just In