Herman Cain said Tuesday it was wrong for conservative columnist John Derbyshire to stereotype the black community in an article that got him fired from the National Review and further propelled the public debate on race in the wake of Trayvon Martin's killing.
The former Republican presidential hopeful and Godfather's Pizza CEO said he had not read the arguably racist column in online Taki Magazine that got Derbyshire fired, nor even knew who the writer was, but said any overly broad generalizations about a neighborhood or people was inappropriate. Derbyshire had advised his children, and readers, to stay away from black neighborhoods and avoid groups of black people.
You shouldn't stereotype all black communities. Period, Cain said. To make a statement like that, to stay away from black communities, you are basically stereotyping black communities. That's not the case. It's safe to come to my neighborhood. Cain lives in an upscale gated community in McDonough, Ga., outside of Atlanta.
Cain, who made the comments before a speech at Fordham Law School in Manhattan Tuesday afternoon, said any type of racial stereotyping, whether it be all black people, all white people, stereotyping Hispanics, was inappropriate.
Derbyshire made waves in the news over the weekend for his shockingly racist and condescending commentary in The Talk: Nonblack Version, and subsequent firing from the National Review, a standard-bearer of the American right.
In the article, Derbyshire says the average intelligence of blacks is lower than whites and advises parents to tell their children to avoid concentrations of black that are not known to you personally and stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.
The article makes no mention of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, an incident that has further propelled the debate about racism in the national spotlight ahead of the 2012 election.
Cain has commented on the Martin case before, saying Americans should be just as outraged by Black Panthers offering a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, as by Trayvon Martin's killing.
Where is the investigation? Cain told Fox News about a week and a half ago. All the swirling rhetoric is not helping. This was a tragic, unfortunate death of a young man.