Singer and activist Harry Belafonte, who once marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has called black Republican Party candidate Herman Cain a “bad apple” who does not represent the African-American community.
Belafonte recently made an appearance on Joy Behar‘s talk show, and told her that Cain, a wealthy businessman who grew up in poverity, is not an “authority on the plight of people of color.”
Behar told Belafonte: “[Cain] doesn’t believe that racism holds anyone back, in any way now. What do you think about that statement?”
Belafonte replied: “It’s very hard to comment on somebody who is so denied intelligence – and certainly who is denied a view of history, such as he reveals. He knows very little. Because he happened to have good fortune, because he happened to have had a moment when he broke through – the moment someone blinked – does not make him the authority on the plight of people of color.”
Belafonte, who in 2002 compared then Secretary of State Colin Powell to a house slave, attacked Powell once again, in addition to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other black Republicans.
“The Republican Party, the Tea Party, all those forces to the extreme right, have consistently tried to come up with representation for what they call black, for what they call the real Negroes and try to push these images as the kinds of voices that Americans should be listening to,” Belafonte said.
“So we have Condoleezza Rice, we’ve got Colin Powell – they’re heroes for some people. But for a lot of us, they’re not,” he said. “And Herman Cain is the latest incarnation of what is totally false to the needs of our community, and the needs of our nation. I think he’s a bad apple, and people should look at his whole card. He’s not what he says he is.”
Cain caught wind of Belafonte’s statement and wrote a response to The Hill newspaper, saying that calling him names isn’t going to silence his message.
“As far as Harry Belafonte’s comment, look, I left the Democratic plantation a long time ago. And all that they try to do when someone like me — and I’m not the only black person out there that shares these conservative views – the only tactic that they have to try and intimidate me and shut me up is to call me names, and this sort of thing. It just simply won’t work,” Cain said.
Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, is currently in second place in the national GOP polls.