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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Staff Editorial

Cain should be more cautionary with rhetoric

Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain was a little too comfortable at an appearance Saturday in Cookeville, Tenn.

When addressing the topic of illegal immigration, the Godfather’s Pizza CEO offered an inhumane stance that raised eyebrows across the nation.

“We’re going to have a real fence,” Cain said. “Twenty feet high with barbed wire. Electrified. With a sign on the other side that says, ‘It can kill you!’ Then I get criticized for being insensitive. What’s insensitive? What is insensitive is when they come to the United States across our border and kill our citizens and kill our border-patrol people.”

Obviously before he even completed the thought, Cain knew he would face scrutiny for such an ill-advised comment. He was quick to backtrack from his inappropriate solution on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

“That’s a joke,” Cain said. “That’s not a serious plan. That was a joke. I’ve also said America needs to get a sense of humor.”

If Cain believes electrocuting people is a funny subject, we do not want to know what else he considers to be laughable.

In all likelihood his campaign will brush off the gaffe, and reiterate that his comments were simply an untimely quip. Regardless, it does not make it any less disturbing.

There is no denying that the US has a border control problem, as undocumented citizens have been pouring in for decades. But the situation should be addressed in a nonviolent manner. To assume every person who crosses the border kills US citizens and border-patrol officials is a sweeping generalization. As an African-American male, it comes as a surprise that Cain would make such a dangerous assumption.

When some people hear a legitimate presidential candidate spew controversial statements like this, a retraction often becomes irrelevant. His opponents now have a trump card, and some of his supporters could interpret it the wrong way.

Cain is in a close race, and his campaign has been the recipient of some positive momentum. It is unfortunate that bold statements which belittle human lives could be partly responsible.

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