Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain came out swinging Friday against a New York Times op-ed that claims Republicans strategically use black politicians to “undermine black interests.”
The Wednesday op-ed specifically dismisses South Carolina Republican Rep. Tim Scott, who will soon join the Senate, as one of the Republicans’ “cynical tokens.”
Cain declared the New York Times a “racist newspaper” for running the column, which was penned by University of Pennsylvania political science professor Adolph Reed Jr. and titled “The Puzzle of Black Republicans.”
“Any newspaper that would publish a piece denigrating blacks as needing the benevolence of big government in order to serve their interests is obviously racist and deserves widespread censure for making such an insensitive and racially biased editorial decision,” Cain wrote at his website, CainTV.
In the op-ed, Reed argues black Republicans are “tokens” meant primarily not to attract blacks to the GOP, but to allow whites to vote Republican without feeling racist.
He further claims that politicians like Scott — with “little that connects these men to mainstream black politics or to the country’s first two black senators” — are used to actually “undermine black interests.”
“The trope of the black conservative has retained a man-bites-dog newsworthiness that is long past its shelf life. Clichés about fallen barriers are increasingly meaningless; symbols don’t make for coherent policies,” Reed added. “Republicans will not gain significant black support unless they take policy positions that advance black interests. No number of Tim Scotts — or other cynical tokens — will change that.”
According to Cain, Reed is dealing with “obvious self-loathing” and is small minded in his approach to “black interests.”
“To hear Professor Reed tell it, blacks are a monolithic group of people whose best interests are served when they can be recipients of redistributionist policies at the hands of big government,” Cain wrote. “Let me simplify that for you: He thinks black people need welfare, and can’t make it under the kinds of free-market policies advocated by the likes of Samuel Pierce, Clarence Pendleton, Clarence Thomas and Tim Scott. And Herman Cain.”
The former Republican presidential candidate said Reed would learn from meeting the “lots of highly accomplished black men and women who have pursued their dreams in the capitalist system and have done exceedingly well.”
“They vote Republican because they understand that free-market policies open up this same kind of opportunity for others,” Cain argued.
Scott, for his part, dismissed the article Thursday, telling Fox News that the op-ed should not be taken seriously.
“I thought it was funny, actually,” Scott told Fox News. “You can’t take that editorial seriously if you understand the record that South Carolina has had, and the record of achievement that I have been fortunate enough to have in public office.”
Cain, however, kept up his criticism.
“It’s a shame the New York Times is such a racist newspaper,” he said.
The New York Times did not immediately respond to request for comment from The Daily Caller.