Black conservative commentator Armstrong Williams, who worked for Thomas when he headed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said some Republicans are put off by Cain’s claims of racism because they hate it when they are accused of being racist.

“Why is the first response from some conservatives that this must have to do with Cain’s race? That makes them guilty of the same race-baiting we accuse Democrats of,” Williams said…

Cain also used race as a cover while lashing out at nameless foes. “I’m a black conservative, and it is causing their heads to explode,” Cain told Hannity days after accusing GOP rival Gov. Rick Perry of Texas of leaking the sex harassment claims. Perry denies the charge.

If Cain survives his current predicament, the color of his skin will be negligible in the minds of Republicans, said Black, the political science professor.

“He’s the type of African-American they really like to support because he is saying the same things they believe,” Black said.