Interesting exchange between Herman Cain and Charles Krauthammer:
KRAUTHAMMER: Do you think that race, and being a strong black conservative, has anything to do with the fact that you've been so charged? And if so do you have any evidence to support that?CAIN: I believe the answer is yes, but we do not have any evidence to support it. But because I am unconventional candidate running an unconventional campaign and achieving some unexpected unconventional results in terms of my, the poll, we believe that, yes, there are some people who are Democrats, liberals, who do not want to see me win the nomination. And there could be some people on the right who don't want to see me because I'm not the, quote/unquote, "establishment candidate." No evidence.KRAUTHAMMER: But does race have any part of that? Establishment, maverick, yes. What about race?CAIN: Relative to the left I believe race is a bigger driving factor. I don't think it's a driving factor on the right. This is just based upon our speculation.
The "race card" is largely understood to be an evidence-less accusation of racism. Hermain Cain, by his own admission, offered just that.
I think what you see here is that conservatives don't really understand racism as a force in history, but as a political attack. Racism isn't something that you, say, discuss the Confederate flag. It's something you use to deflect an attack.