Lawrence O'Donnell, Herman Cain Argue About The Civil Rights Movement (VIDEO)

jackalope

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Jan 2010
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Lawrence O'Donnell, Herman Cain Argue About The Civil Rights Movement (VIDEO)


Lawrence O'Donnell and GOP presidential contender Herman Cain got into a tense argument about an unexpected topic on O'Donnell's Thursday show: Cain's participation in the Civil Rights movement

(snip ... )

Then, O'Donnell took a surprising turn. He read out a passage from Cain's new book in which Cain discusses his childhood in Atlanta. In the passage, Cain says that he was too young to participate in the Civil Rights movement, and that his father told him to "stay out of trouble" by moving to the back of the bus.

"Where do you think black people would be sitting on the bus today if Rosa Parks had followed your father's advice?" O'Donnell asked. It was an audacious question, and Cain took the bait, reacting forcefully.


"You are distorting the intent of what i said," Cain said. "...If I had been a college student I probably would have been participating." He said that, as a high school student, "it was not prudent" for him to be involved. O'Donnell didn't buy this. He noted that Cain had been a college student "at the height" of the movement, from 1963-67, when other black people were "murdered" fighting for their rights. He asked Cain if he regretted "sitting on those sidelines."


Cain called this an "Irrelevant comparison." O'Donnell said he was just reading from Cain's book. "Did you expect every black student and every black college in America to be out there?" Cain said. "...You didn't know, Lawrence, what I was doing...maybe, just maybe, I had a sick relative!"


"I gave your book a fair reading, and I didn't read anything about a sick friend," O'Donnell said. "What I did read was a deliberate decision to not participate in the Civil Rights movement."

Cain said he didn't understand why O'Donnell was pressing this point when there were more pressing matters at hand. "Let's do the people of this country a service, Lawrence," he said.

(vid at site ... )

Lawrence O'Donnell, Herman Cain Argue About The Civil Rights Movement (VIDEO)

Tough question! But, totally fair, IMO. Cain's going to have to come up with a better answer if he stays in the top tier of polling for the GOP nomination.
 

freecell

Former Staff
Jul 2006
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He will do the best he can. He is not a politician, just an old southerner and I like him. Reminds me of my Dad a little. But he knows about economics and how to put this country back together.
 

jackalope

Former Staff
Jan 2010
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He will do the best he can. He is not a politician, just an old southerner and I like him. Reminds me of my Dad a little. But he knows about economics and how to put this country back together.

I almost tagged you on this, but I figured you'd see it.

It IS a really tough question. Do you think it was fair, or cheap shot?
 

freecell

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I almost tagged you on this, but I figured you'd see it.

It IS a really tough question. Do you think it was fair, or cheap shot?
I remember in the south when blacks started coming to our schools the first year. Their were 7 protesters at my elementary school and that school was big. No one gave these kids any problems. Asking him why he didn't do something that his dad asked him not to do was off the wall. His dad told him to stay out of trouble and that's what he did. If it was wrong so be it. I am sure he wanted to do something but he honored his dad's request. I am sure he is not the only one.
 

jackalope

Former Staff
Jan 2010
51,139
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Maine
I remember in the south when blacks started coming to our schools the first year. Their were 7 protesters at my elementary school and that school was big. No one gave these kids any problems. Asking him why he didn't do something that his dad asked him not to do was off the wall. His dad told him to stay out of trouble and that's what he did. If it was wrong so be it. I am sure he wanted to do something but he honored his dad's request. I am sure he is not the only one.

But, he said if he was a college student, he would have. Then Lawrence pointed out that he was a college student during the height of the protests.
 

freecell

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But, he said if he was a college student, he would have. Then Lawrence pointed out that he was a college student during the height of the protests.
But maybe not where he was. You know when I see old films of protesting and so forth, I didn't see that in my home town. We didn't even have a bus for private citizens, and they still don't. Did he know it was the height of the protest? Looks like he didn't.
 

jackalope

Former Staff
Jan 2010
51,139
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Maine
But maybe not where he was. You know when I see old films of protesting and so forth, I didn't see that in my home town. We didn't even have a bus for private citizens, and they still don't. Did he know it was the height of the protest? Looks like he didn't.
Everyone who was of age didn't participate in the Civil Rights Movement. I think the question is a fair one to ask though? Maybe it's not. I mean, do they ask all the candidates this question? Or did Lawrence only ask him b/c he's black?

I think he needs a better answer, regardless. I mean, first he said he wasn't old enough, then he said he had a sick relative ... ?
 

freecell

Former Staff
Jul 2006
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Yes he did need a better answer but it didn't happen 5 years ago. I don't think he was not telling the truth, just couldn't remember. Small towns were not like the big cities where they had all the problems. Most still today in the south don't have public buses. In fact I walked to school because the school bus I would have had to take was farther than my school. They didn't pick you up like they do today at or near your house. I walked a little over 5 miles to school everyday and back.
 

jackalope

Former Staff
Jan 2010
51,139
17,672
Maine
Yes he did need a better answer but it didn't happen 5 years ago. I don't think he was not telling the truth, just couldn't remember. Small towns were not like the big cities where they had all the problems. Most still today in the south don't have public buses. In fact I walked to school because the school bus I would have had to take was farther than my school. They didn't pick you up like they do today at or near your house. I walked a little over 5 miles to school everyday and back.
I had a bus until 6th grade, but walked after that. It was only about a mile tho, the furthest walk. HS was very close, just a few blocks.
 

Macduff

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Apr 2010
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Pittsburgh, PA
If there's one thing that Herman Cain needs from Lawrence O'Donnell it's lessons about being black.
 
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