Harry Belafonte: Herman Cain is a “bad apple”

posted at 3:10 pm on October 11, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Like Condoleezza Rice, Herman Cain doesn’t need Harry Belafonte to tell him what it means to be black — but it looks like the legendary singer is just as willing to reject Cain’s life experiences as a legitimate example of what it means to grow up black in America as he was to reject the life experiences of Rice and Colin Powell in 2002. Remember when he compared the two of them to “house slaves” who would retain their privileged positions only for as long as they did what “the master” wanted?

He doesn’t have anything nice to say about Herman Cain, either. In an interview with HLN’s Joy Behar, Belafonte said Herman Cain was “denied intelligence” and called him “a bad apple.”

“I just want to make this observation about Herman Cain,” Belafonte said. “The Republican Party, the Tea Party and all those forces to the extreme right have consistently tried to come up with a representation for what they call black … and tried to push these images … They’ve got Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. They’re heroes for some people, but for a lot of us they’re not. And Herman Cain is just the latest incarnation of what is totally false to the needs of our community and the needs of our nation!”

This truly troubles me. Maybe I just wasn’t tuned into the talk of race when George W. Bush was president or when Barack Obama’s election was touted as the key to a post-racial society, but the constant accusations this cycle of Tea Party racism, of the GOP propping Cain up as some kind of puppet, seem sharper, more acerbic and more frequent than anything I recall hearing growing up.

In an interesting article on The Fix, Rachel Weiner quotes Eddie Glaude, a professor of African-American studies at Princeton. “The way in which he invokes race is in its most benign way, with the most benign assurances,” Glaude said. “He confirms conservative views about how race functions in the political domain.”

The implication is that conservatives like to hear Cain talk about race because he reassures us that it’s no longer a factor in a person’s success in the United States. Certainly, Cain’s message — that racism doesn’t “hold anybody back in a big way” — is a hopeful one … but only if it’s true. Is it?

To judge by comments from Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson and Harry Belafonte, it’s not. All of these men — Herman Cain included — experienced the segregated South. No doubt they can all cite specific examples of racism holding them back. Belafonte, for one, refused to perform in the South from 1954 to 1961. Those memories must run so very, very deep.

But might the memories be all that’s holding anybody back? Will the time never come to let go? That’s tricky, I know: Those who forget history are destined to repeat it, as they say. But maybe remembering it destines us to repeat it, too. Wouldn’t the better approach be a proactive, transcendent one — one in which we all decide to stop focusing on obstacles to our own success and start focusing instead on what can be done to solve the problems we face?

We’re all guilty of this: We fixate on the ways we’ve been treated unfairly to our disadvantage and forget the ways we’ve been treated unfairly to our advantage. Maybe it’s cliche to say it, but life really isn’t fair. As I’ve written before, Herman Cain’s great promise isn’t a post-racial one. Prejudice of all kinds — racial, religious, ideological, etc. — will continue to exist no matter who is elected president and when. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work to eradicate it — just that we shouldn’t expect it. In the meantime, we should embrace Herman Cain’s promise of the payoff of personal responsibility — because, in the end, that’s all any of us can control … ourselves.

Update: The embedded video in this post was originally of a different segment on Joy Behar’s show. The video above is the correct Harry Belafonte interview.


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Why is he still using the slave name that The Man pinned on him? Shouldn’t he be Harry X?

Cicero43 on October 11, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Because he still likes those royalty checks he gets from The Man.

Lourdes on October 11, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Another intolerant hypocrite.

That’s all that needs to be said of people like him, whatever their color.

shick on October 11, 2011 at 4:38 PM

A beautiful bunch, a ripe banana
(Daylight come and)
(Daylight come and me wan’ go home)
Highly deadly black tarantula
….

Racist!

Aardvark on October 11, 2011 at 4:39 PM

The day we have a post-racial America is the day when the Uncle Tom charge is levied at people who, like Harry Belafonte, defend the policies that keep minorities from actually succeeding.

DailyDanet on October 11, 2011 at 4:40 PM

It has been two generations since the end of the sixties. Harry needs to let it go. We are in a different time. We have a African-American as President who is a Democrat and an African-American Republican who is loved by the Republicans. Who would have thought in the United States in 1960, we would be in this situation?

SC.Charlie on October 11, 2011 at 4:41 PM

in the South from 1954 to 1961

The South was under the control of Democrats, just ask MLK, a Republican.

In the days of slavery when a slave ran away from the plantation, the owners put out a reward for the return of the slave.

Today the slaves own the plantation.

When one of the slaves runs from the plantation, the other slaves claim that the runner isn’t really a slave because all the slaves love the plantation.

History is full of such ironies.

Texas Gal on October 11, 2011 at 4:43 PM

As a celebrity chef who has cooked for many famous people and Politicians, the one person that I met and cooked for who was a complete utter douchebag towards my restaurant staff was Mr. Belfonte…He is just angry, rude, and cheap person!

Political Chef on October 11, 2011 at 4:54 PM

First of all, Belafonte’s only claim to fame for the last 50 years is his fondness for Fidel. So no one really cares what he thinks.

Second, am I missing something here? All these Black entertainers complaining about how Blacks were/are held back. Hmmm…aren’t these all successful people? So did they overcome or were they helped or weren’t they held back? And don’t they all owe their success to large corporate identities, not the government?

And if they did it why is it wrong for Cain to have done it? And why is it wrong of Cain to suggest that other people can/should do it?

I realize these are pretty much rhetorical questions but it would be nice if some interviewer would ask them.

Deanna on October 11, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I think Obama got it right during his “Race in America” speech.
These old black folks have experienced real racism, and they are still clinging onto those same fears.

Their thoughts won’t really change much, but the new generation’s thoughts will, and have changed… especially with all these black leaders in business and government.

Belafonte’s opinions won’t go away in HIS life time… so these jabs will continue for a while, but will fizzle out within a decade or 2.

AlexB on October 11, 2011 at 4:56 PM

The Republican Party, the Tea Party and all those forces to the extreme right have consistently tried to come up with a representation for what they call black … and tried to push these images …

Project much, Harry? These traits are attributable more to Democrats and leftists than they are to Republicans and Tea Partyers.

Just shut up and sing, you old fool.

UltimateBob on October 11, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Wow, they really hate it when one of them “left the plantation” as Cain calls it, don’t they?

karenhasfreedom on October 11, 2011 at 5:17 PM

So, let me get this straight: If a Black man gets an education, works hard, and is successful then he is not an example of today’s Black experience. So Belafonte would rather only NFL, NBA, and Gangsta Rap Artist be role models for today’s Black Youth. Black unemployment is higher than white unemployment but the percentage difference has not change much over the last few years.

If the Black Leaders will only accept successful Blacks that came from broken homes, the Ghetto, and was a gang member then they will not have many role models for them to look up to. To suggest that the White Man blinked and Herman Cain slipped in the door is Racist, hateful, and demeaning. The attitude seems to be that if the Government did nothing to help you get where you are then you are not “pure”. Cain had two parents and both worked. In High School Herman Cain concentrated on school instead of marching and demonstrating, he attended Collage and worked hard to get where he is.

old war horse on October 11, 2011 at 5:20 PM

In an interview with HLN’s Joy Behar, Belafonte said Herman Cain was “denied intelligence” and called him “a bad apple.”

Herman Cain should challenge Belafonte to an IQ test–which of them can sell the most pizza in a week?

Steve Z on October 11, 2011 at 5:20 PM

With all the (liberal) black “leaders” bashing Herman Cain for daring to be (OMG!) conservative, I wonder what Bill Cosby thinks of Cain…

Steve Z on October 11, 2011 at 5:23 PM

If Cain gets the nomination, boy-oh-boy break out the helmets to shield yourselves from liberal brain matter. (A small helmet should suffice)

SouthernGent on October 11, 2011 at 3:25 PM

LOL! :-D

Mary in LA on October 11, 2011 at 5:38 PM

As a celebrity chef who has cooked for many famous people and Politicians, the one person that I met and cooked for who was a complete utter douchebag towards my restaurant staff was Mr. Belfonte…He is just angry, rude, and cheap person!

Political Chef on October 11, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I bet you have an amazing trove of stories! If you had a blog, I would read it every day, seriously.

Mary in LA on October 11, 2011 at 5:40 PM

It has been two generations since the end of the sixties. Harry needs to let it go. We are in a different time.

SC.Charlie on October 11, 2011 at 4:41 PM

The Left must stick to believing we live in 1950′s-era race relations or else their entire world view/approach to humanity is revealed as a fallacy. They have no choice. It’s sad.

visions on October 11, 2011 at 5:40 PM

@Mary: I was just thinking the same thing about @PoliticalChef! Would love to read more of such stories.

Tina Korbe on October 11, 2011 at 5:46 PM

it is democrats who have distorted and changed the narrative concerning politics, parties and race in this country- not the republicans( save the republicans let them do it and said not much.). with the help of communists and outright gangsters like george jackson and huey newton. this is the hurtful, contentious dishonest lens championed by the 60s radicals, who were all marxists and who courted the likes of the panthers, denying their serious crimes and excesses, to manipulate them into a shock troop to scare their middle class white parents with.

at heart they were nothing more than racists themselves – the would be lords and masters thinking they were arranging their chess pieces just so. obama was their late but crowning achievement. the revenge of billy ” free as a bird, guilty as sin” ayers

our country belabors under these damaged cultural norms, this twisted dishonest narrative, codified and now ingrained in our society by self absorbed power hungry white brats , spoiled basically marxist baby boomers no different than the emo hipsters occupied with themselves occupying wall street. i cannot count the times i have had to point out that the man who freed the slaves was a republican, the man who signed the civil rights act was a republican- all of which was largely opposed by democrats. all you get is a blank yet somehow still contemptuous stare as when you question why, if wall street is so evil, does barack obama take more money from them than any other politician in the last 20 years. chirp chirp- they have nothing to say except, usually,” you are stupid and a nazi”.

it’s the same for women- willing to overlook the most egregious, hateful things done to females by liberal democrats- things they would find unacceptable if a conservative was caught doing them. blacks and women never seem to ask democrats what they’ve done for them lately . like trained seals they defend liberalism at any and all costs to their personal dignity, to truth. to real equality, and to reason. we have devalued the meaning of the word ‘ racist’ so that now any time a drone like belafonte spits it out or starts uncle tomming someone, which is always ,it can pretty much be discounted as base hyperbole signifying some one is cranky today and not getting enough attention.

mittens on October 11, 2011 at 5:53 PM

So, when does the talk of insensitivity to italians begin, saying that Herman Cain’s Godfather Pizza was a insulting play on italian stereotypes of mobsters running pizza shops? You would have thought it would have came up with Columbus day just passing.

AverageJoe on October 11, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Wow, every time I read a story like this I’m glad I’m a white male.

See, I hold a variety of political views; and nobody comes after me as being a “bad apple” of a white male for them.

I know another white male who holds pretty much the opposite of every view I hold; and oddly he’s not a “bad apple” either.

Which means I’m allowed the freedom to hold whatever views I choose without being attacked as betraying my race or gender. I have to admit I enjoy that.

Sorry minorities, ladies, etc. but when you worked for equality and freedom you seem to have missed a very significant benefit.

gekkobear on October 11, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Gee, the last time I checked, Harry Belafonte wasn’t African-American.

Ward Cleaver on October 11, 2011 at 6:13 PM

When de tallyman come, Belafonte isn’t going to be a happy camper.

coldwarrior on October 11, 2011 at 6:30 PM

I was not a fan of Cain’s but the more I hear of how bad the left hates him the more I am thinking he must be doing something right. I think he scares the hell out of them.

MikeA on October 11, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Herman Cain isn’t trying to represent black Americans. He’s out there to represent all Americans, Mister Racist Belafonte.

njcommuter on October 11, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Harry Belafonte is a dumb apple!

MCGIRV on October 11, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Belafonte is a mouth piece for the liberal plantation masters.

Kjeil on October 11, 2011 at 7:40 PM

This guy has a thing for fruit, doesn’t he? First it’s the “Banana Boat” song, now it’s “bad apples”.

I wonder how he feels about the old Osmond tune “One Bad Apple”.

Talismen on October 11, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Does he mean “rotten apple”: As is one “can spoiling a barrel”? Of apples.

tom0508 on October 11, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Harry “Daylight come, and the sumbich STILL won’t go home” Belafonte

Please go away….

deedtrader on October 11, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Belafonte is a road apple!

njcommuter on October 11, 2011 at 8:39 PM

In an interview with HLN’s Joy Behar, Belafonte said Herman Cain was “denied intelligence” and called him “a bad apple.”

This coming from a rotten banana, I’d say someone put some lime in his coconut.

seismedia on October 11, 2011 at 8:48 PM

And this commie-fool-fraud is a bad banana!

Gob on October 11, 2011 at 9:09 PM

I wonder how he feels about the old Osmond tune “One Bad Apple”.

Talismen on October 11, 2011 at 7:48 PM

or was it the Jackson 5?

Red State State of Mind on October 11, 2011 at 9:26 PM

It’s all about political demographics. If Herman Cain becomes POTUS and turns the economy around, the Democrats will never get 90% of the Black vote again.

Sarah Palin was threat to them, because the Democrats need to get at least 52% of the women’s vote. Still, there have been a fair amount of Republican women in the past, and Liberal ideology tends to have a bit more appeal to women than it does to men. So while Sarah Palin becoming VP or POTUS would hurt the Democrats, it wouldn’t do the same amount of damage as Herman Cain becoming POTUS.

As much as they wanted to destroy Palin, they need to destroy Cain 10 times more. This is one of the main reasons that I want him to be the nominee. The Democrats and their allies in the Liberal pop culture industrial complex will jump the shark in their attempts to destroy him, and Independent voters will flock to him.

ardenenoch on October 11, 2011 at 9:58 PM

This is just another example of an old black guy like Morgan Freeman, Al Sharpton, and now this guy. They cannot or will not let go of the old time racial problems from 50 years ago. After these guys go to the happy hunting ground, things will get better. The young Af Ams are too busy chasing the blondes to worry about racial history.

UnEasyRider on October 11, 2011 at 11:22 PM

Mr. Banana Boat is obviously prejudice, to wit: Mr. Cain is considerably darker skinned than poor ole Harry. Harry is Racist, and likes that light skinned B.O.

3dpuzzman on October 12, 2011 at 12:09 AM

And what Harry Belafonte says is news for some reason how exactly? Seriously. How?

dddave on October 11, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Yeah, who gives a ratsass what he thinks?

tbear44 on October 12, 2011 at 4:43 AM

In an interview with HLN’s Joy Behar

Eddie Glaude, a professor of African-American studies at Princeton

So much fail for a single article. Want fries with that Ivy League degree?

MNHawk on October 12, 2011 at 5:51 AM

Belafonte shouldn’t talk about apples considering he is rotten to the core himself.

zoyclem on October 12, 2011 at 7:01 AM

King Tut’s mummy!

bitsy on October 12, 2011 at 7:28 AM

but it looks like the legendary singer is just as willing to reject Cain’s life experiences

Legendary? The guy had ONE successful song 50 years ago and hasn’t done anything of note since.

tommyboy on October 12, 2011 at 7:59 AM

and Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell!

pgrossjr on October 12, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Born and raised in NYC, refusing to even GO South, what makes this MORON think he has a leg to stand on commenting on what people like Herman Cain actually EXPERIENCED? He demonstrates the DOUBLE prejudice of North vs. South and Racism.

In short, STFU and get me a cup of coffee.

PJ Emeritus on October 12, 2011 at 10:25 AM

And Mr. Bellyfarty, you are a washed-up has-been.

DuctTapeMyBrain on October 12, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Herman Cain should challenge Belafonte to an IQ test–which of them can sell the most pizza in a week?
Steve Z on October 11, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Or who can balance a bank statement. Oh right, Harry pays someone to do that for him. He wouldn’t know where to start.

Well, at least he’s a job creator. Trickle down economics works Harry! Or did THAT escape you too?

Mr_Magoo on October 12, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Me thinks Belafonte’s daylight has come, and he SHOULD GO HOME (and shut up)

p51d007 on October 12, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Celebrity multi-millionaire idiots for socialism

fleiter on October 12, 2011 at 2:42 PM

As fruit metaphors go Harry Belafonte is a rotten banana.

miles on October 12, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Whenever I hear any minority say “our community”, that person is automatically a racist. No question. If you live in America, live as an American. No color, no separating yourself from the rest of society, no being the victim. Knock it off!

madmonkphotog on October 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Harry Belafonte,

another member of the Klan with the Tan (With a hat tip to Dr. Walter Williams for use of the term).

Black racists, and blacks as a group – the most racist group in the USA, with Hispanic-Latino Racists, and Hispanics-Latinos as a group, not far behind, should be ashamed of themselves, and embarassed at their pathetic, hate filled, pabulum regurgitating nonsense.

The USA is a racist nation only in regard to blacks and Hispaics being obsessed with race, projecting their racism onto others, and using racism as an excuse for black and Hispanic failure, violence, crime, and their own, blatant, hate filled, even violently expressed, racism.

Harry Belafonte is a psycho nut who should be wrapped in a straight jacket, medicated, and locked inside a padded room, complete with a secured video camera with a 24/7 operator watching him on the monitor. He is deranged, and has been for a while, and he vomits racist nonsense, replete with maggots, decaying flesh, and the most disgusting odor, virtually 24 hours per day. He even dreams racist, hate filled dreams

William2006 on October 13, 2011 at 1:49 AM

“It’s hard to comment on someone so denied of intelligence”

So I guess Harry’s book has a lot of blank pages in it.

virgo on October 13, 2011 at 3:51 AM

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