Cain: Racism Is No Biggie

People 'sometimes hold themselves back,' use racism as 'excuse'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2011 12:52 AM CDT
Updated Oct 10, 2011 4:36 AM CDT
Cain: Racism's No Biggie
Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain gestures during a speech.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Herman Cain insisted in an interview yesterday that racism in America isn't significantly impeding economic progress for minorities. “I don't believe racism in this country today holds anybody back in a big way,” the presidential candidate declared on CNN. Many "have a level playing field," he added. "I absolutely believe that." But he acknowledged there are still "some elements" of racism. "It gets back to if we don't grow this economy, that is a ripple effect for every economic level, and because blacks are more disproportionately unemployed, they get hit the worst when economic policies don't work," he added.

He blamed educational differences and particularly hard-hit regions, including Detroit, for high unemployment rates among blacks. Still, he said, many blacks have only themselves to blame for their economic situation. “They weren't held back because of racism,” Cain said. “People sometimes hold themselves back because they want to use racism as an excuse for them not being able to achieve what they want to achieve.” (More Herman Cain 2012 stories.)

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