Ben Carson has some suggestions for Black Lives Matter movement

Benjamin Carson speaks Monday in Anderson, S.C. (AP Photo / Rainier Ehrhardt)

Ben Carson speaks Monday in Anderson, S.C. (AP Photo / Rainier Ehrhardt)

Whatever you think of Ben Carson as a presidential candidate* his life story and accomplishments are indisputably inspiring. And wherever he finishes in the GOP field, that story and those accomplishments give him a powerful stature with which to speak to a party that needs to speak more persuasively to minority voters and people struggling to climb the income ladder.

Carson as a candidate can’t speak exclusively to these people who tend not to vote Republican — that’d be a pretty dead-end approach to winning a Republican primary — but he does have a message for them. And he outlined it this week in an op-ed in USA Today.

Noting the recent protests of Bernie Sanders’ campaign events by members of the Black Lives Matter movement, Carson says their anger would be better directed at “the real sources of our hopelessness,” and suggests where they march instead (emphasis and links original throughout):

“Let’s head down to the board of education. Teaching is a tough job and thank God there was a teacher who convinced me that I was not dumb, but our schools are failing and we have no power to abandon them. The actions of rogue police officers take black lives one at a time. Our public school system has destroyed black lives not in the ones and twos, but in whole generations.

“The schools don’t teach and our children don’t learn. Too many public schools are controlled by teachers unions focused more on the convenience and compensation of adults rather than the education of children who started out far behind. Their failures don’t kill as quickly, but they do kill as surely as a bullet.

“Let’s confront the entertainment industry that lines its pockets by glamorizing a life where black men are thugs and our women are trash. Let’s tell them we plan to start talking with our wallets.

“It is time for them to pick on someone else because we have had enough. Demeaning women is not art, and it shouldn’t be profitable. Neither is glorifying violence and equating prison time with authenticity. ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ No. 1 in movie theaters, is just the latest example. You only have to watch the trailers.

“Let’s go down to city hall. Living behind a door with three deadbolts is not living in freedom. Being too scared to walk around your block at night is not the pursuit of happiness we were all promised.

“Let’s go over to the crack house. We need to tear it down. Profiting from selling poison to our children and destroying lives must not be the ambition of our children. These monuments to our destruction deserve our active scorn not our silent acceptance.

“We should go to Washington. For decades they have fought the ‘War on Poverty.’ Poverty won. We lost.

Over 19 trillion dollars has been wasted, but can anyone identify a single battle won as a result? We certainly have not helped the poor ‘lift themselves out of the ruts of poverty’ as Lyndon Johnson promised — far from it. These programs have been a great American failure.

“We should have a talk with the Democratic Party.  Let’s tell them, we don’t want to be clothed, fed and housed. We want honor and dignity.

“We don’t want a plan to give us public housing in nice neighborhoods. We want an end to excuses for schools that leave us without the means to buy our own houses where we choose to live. We want the skills needed to compete, not a consolation prize of Section 8, Food Stamps and a lifetime of government paperwork.

“Finally, we need to go over to the Republican Party. We need to tell them they have ignored us for too long. They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate and find a different way.”

A lot of Americans certainly have a lot to be angry about on these points. The past seven years haven’t made much of a difference on any of them for the people holding the protests. Maybe it’s time for them to follow Carson’s lead and try something different.

* I am aware of Carson’s rise in the polls since the first GOP debate earlier this month. I still do not believe he will be the nominee. But then, I never thought Trump would lead the race, so what do I know?

(Note: I am at the Georgia Chamber’s congressional luncheon in Macon, where we’ll hear from, among others, Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson and Fox News Channel’s pollster/focus grouper extraordinaire Frank Luntz. I’ll report on what they have to say later, but comment approval may be a little slow in the meantime. Thanks in advance for your patience.)

Reader Comments 0

28 comments
Joe Michael
Joe Michael

Doctor Carson making sense as usual!


Let’s head down to the board of education. ,

“Let’s confront the entertainment industry

“Let’s go down to city hall. Living behind a door with three deadbolts is not living in freedom. Being too scared to walk around your block at night is not the pursuit of happiness we were all promised.

“Let’s go over to the crack house. We need to tear it down.

“We should go to Washington. For decades they have fought the ‘War on Poverty.’ Poverty won. We lost.

Over 19 trillion dollars has been wasted,

“We should have a talk with the Democratic Party.  Let’s tell them, we don’t want to be clothed, fed and housed. We want honor and dignity.

“Finally, we need to go over to the Republican Party. We need to tell them they have ignored us for too long. They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate and find a different way.”

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Black Lives Matter platform is police brutality. Carson didn't even address their point about police brutality. There are other organizations that he can work with to address some of his points. Why ask one organization to address all of African americans concerns. .

LDH2O
LDH2O

This is the guy who complains about Planned Parenthood but defends his use of fetus material. Yea, sounds like he has the intellectual integrity to lead us, NOT!

MarkVV
MarkVV

Ben Carson’s op-ed is, at least, less inept than his often pathetic performance in the debates. But this mishmash of truths, half-truths and empty slogans still does not raise much confidence in him as a viable presidential candidate.

A person of Carson’s accomplishment should not spew out such false generalizations as ”The schools don’t teach and our children don’t learn.” It may sound like something thoughtful to write slogans like “Let’s go down to city hall“ or “Let's go over to the crack house,” but they really do not mean anything.

Life improvements for blacks people – and all people– do not need the attitude “we have done everything wrong, let’s throw it out” but rather pointing out specifically how what has been done can be improved and what new initiatives are needed.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

“Over 19 trillion dollars has been wasted, but can anyone identify a single battle won as a result? We certainly have not helped the poor ‘lift themselves out of the ruts of poverty’ as Lyndon Johnson promised — far from it. These programs have been a great American failure.

So very true.

Too many among the black community see only walls while neglecting the foundation.

I have a dream, that ONE DAY, they'll be able to find their way out of the maze built especially "FOR" them. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@FIGMO2  I have a dream, that ONE DAY, they'll be able to find their way out of the maze built especially "FOR" them. 


They sold you guys that lie. And you bought it. 


http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/how-the-war-on-poverty-succeeded-in-four-charts


The war on poverty has been an absolute incredible success..


Is there still poverty. Of course. There is still crime but we spend huge sums fighting that. 


It will never be eliminated entirely. 


In truth those that rail against the war on poverty don't do so because they believe it failed. They do so because they don't feel it should have been fought to begin with.


In 1964, the poverty rate was about about nineteen per cent. By 1966, it had fallen to just under fifteen per cent. Almost half a century later, in 2012—the last year for which the Census Bureau has provided an official estimate—the poverty rate is still fifteen per cent. Doesn’t this suggest Ryan is right, and the War on Poverty has been a monumental failure?


No, it doesn’t. If you measure poverty properly, which is only now being done, you find that the poverty rate has fallen pretty dramatically since the middle of the nineteen-sixties. Indeed, according to an important new study by a group of economists at Columbia University, it has dropped by forty per cent. 


The main driver of this fall, in fact, has been the very type of anti-poverty programs that L.B.J. championed: food stamps and housing subsidies, Social Security and Medicare, and generous income subsidies, in the form of tax credits, for the low-paid.


FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Hedley_Lammar

Hanging on by a thread the government provides is NOT prosperity.

Commit this to memory, Hedley...

What the government giveth, the government can taketh away.

Who gets to define poverty?

Juanx
Juanx

Jay, this guy is a misspeak Republican. He spends more time clarifying his positions on an equal basis with Jeb Bush. He is a great fit for the GOP. He would never be tolerated as a member of the Democrat Party.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Republicans walk MLK's talk of treating everyone the same regardless of race.  That's not good enough for Democrats.

Tell us, progs, do you want everyone treated the same or not? 

Pandering to racial groups isn't the American way.  It's the Democrat way.

quickworkbreak
quickworkbreak

Schools in predominantly black areas are at a distinct disadvantage, because many of the kids don't get foundational (preparatory) education from home (in addition to receiving basic social skills). With 72% of black children living in a home where his/her parent is not married, how can there be enough time for that single parent to both work and teach that child?  I simply don't know how to lower that statistic.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@quickworkbreak  , The stat doesn't mean that the father is not in the child's life and/or providing support.  The stat does not include extended family also caring for the child (grandparents, aunts, uncles).  3 of my close family members were born out of wed lock. They all had extended families and the fathers were part of their lives. 


Most Black kids receive basic social skills.  They relate and have fun with the people they are with on a daily basis with no issues.


You are misusing statistics to validate what you already believe.  There's nothing wrong with Black people or Black culture.  We have poor people just like white people have poor people.  The only difference is that our poor people seem to represent 100% of Black people when its more like 15-20%.


When is a Presidential candidate going to come out and talk about the Meth dealers in the trailer parks and the scourge of white on white crime?  .....  Never, because white people wouldn't accept it, yet we are forced to endure this junk.

juvenal
juvenal

after there are 11 million more Hispanic votes, black VOTES won't matter.......

heezback
heezback

Step right up and be the first, yes you can be the first one here today to declare Carson an "Uncle Tom"; an OREO; a con; not really black; or whatever makes you feel better about yourself and your condition.  Don't be shy.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

"a party that needs to speak more persuasively to minority voters and people struggling to climb the income ladder"


I think the message Ben says should be directed back at the GOP establishment who have completely lost the minority votes. 

I recall wayyyy back when W Bush was campaigning and went to a predominantly black / liberal organization and said "I'm here to ask for your vote" and was roundly laughed at. 


Great talking does little for those who are listening. Actions speak much louder than words.  Once the GOP actually takes action, then the message would be clearer.  All this talk, even from Ben Carson, will do little to sway the minority voters. 

lvg
lvg

Kasich and Carson as VP; I would vote GOP rather than  a party that contibnuouisly panders to minorities.

straker
straker

Ben Carson can say these things and maybe the Black Community will grumble a little.


Let a White politician say these things and you'll hear howls of "racism" from same community.


Only in America.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

I HATE, HATE, HATE when Black people say ignorant stuff like this.  He is basically playing into tropes that white people believe about black people to be preachy.


There is a substantial Black middle and upper class (50%) in this country with another 25% considered working poor .  We are not living behind three locked doors and we are educating our kids. There are no crack houses and I go jogging in the middle of the night.  The large majority of Black people live in safe areas with reasonable schools.


He is basically turning his own people into a stereotype.  He picks on the entertainment industry.  That's stupid.  That is geared towards our kids and young adults.  To give an example, it would be like basing everything I know about white culture on Milley Cyrus, Britney Spears,  Taylor Swift, Marylin Manson, Jersey Shore and the Bachelor.


The entire image of Black people is driven by poor people and 20 year olds.  Its complete nonsense.  80% of Black people are hard working, normal people, but one of our own intellects define us by 20 year old rappers and The Wire.  I guarantee 95% of the Black people he knows aren't anything like he described. Its just dumb and he should be ashamed.


RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Carson makes some excellent points, but there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.  I don't see much sign that the community is ready to accept any message that doesn't contain a heaping of blame and scorn on the country, a  government imposed "living wage", and income redistribution.  Excuses and blame seem to be the rationalization of the times, responsibility  and preparing for the future was yesterday.   As Carson points out a library card was the trick his mother used to make him realize that his potential was unlimited, if he made the effort.  As long as people like Carson, Herman Cain, Herman Russell, Oprah Winfrey etc are thought of as just weird exceptions that escaped from poverty, rather than the role models they should be, there will be no improvement.


Glad to hear that David Perdue has been found.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

“Finally, we need to go over to the Republican Party. We need to tell them they have ignored us for too long. They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate and find a different way.”


^^^^The only thing that he said in that long diatribe, that made any sense.  All other(s) were just RW crackpot talking points. 

Also, TEACHER UNONS' control schools!?!  HA!  Can anyone say, "No Child Left Behind?"  Phhttt!

GMFA
GMFA

You still play the anger card Kyle, not surprising. Carson can be lucid on occasion, but other times he comes across as a neanderthal. We should be angry the Pubs tries forty-three times to kill Obamacare. Did nothing about immigration and used the filibuster more times than any other Congress. If your angry about everyone now having access to health care I would have to question your love of country or your fellow man. We have watched a staggering amount of time wasted these last 7 years, including watching Cruz read a children's book for 24 hours. Now that should make you mad.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@GMFA I didn't play the anger card. That was the premise of Carson's op-ed ... and isn't it the premise of the Black Lives Matter movement? Anger about police brutality, etc.?

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JFMcNamara You are right, it's a single issue for them. His point was it's not the root issue.

AvailableName
AvailableName

@Kyle_Wingfield @JFMcNamara But it is an issue, why should he or we dismiss it?  I personally don't like the confrontational approach that BLM, not the agency, takes.  But, when black people are treated differently than us white people, for decades, can you understand their focus?


To be overly dramatic, a person starving, a woman being repeatedly raped by a member of whatever we call ISIS this week, or a person rousted by white police, might be forgiven for being a one issue voter and activist.  


For Doctor Carson to casually talk about a whole lot of issues that he and his fellow Republicans have no intention of actually addressing and condemning the BLM folks for their narrow focus, is a bit lame in my view.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Wow, those are some "inconvenient truths" right there!