Just a few salient points about Dr Carson. Seems he has forgotten a lot of things while spending life in the bubble at that hospital surrounded by intern and student doctor fawning sycophants. That seems easy to do for some folks. I wonder if the good doctor ever volunteered with folks like Doctors Without Borders?
Get out there in the real world and it will put your ego in check real fast.
It’s not racist, or even controversial, to point out that black people in the US face systemic hardships and prejudices, from increased poverty rates to higher police brutality. But as that observation, notably via the Black Lives Matter movement, has begun to attain broader attention and more influence, the only serious black candidate for president seems determined to push the discussion out of the spotlight.
Ben Carson, a Republican candidate for president, is stumping with language that underplays the need to talk about race in this country, decrying “purveyors of hatred who take every single incident between people of two races and try to make a race war out of it” at the first Republican debate.
This sort of language presupposes that the likes of black activists interrupting Bernie Sanders makes them troublemakers who can’t see beyond race. That is, in this logic, it makes Black Lives Matters members racist.
It’s an old conservative talking point that those who “see” race and agitate for racial justice are the “real racists.” But because this rhetoric has long drawn criticisms of racism for the Republican Party, it’s a small wonder that a black candidate supporting the old cause is making Carson a conservative darling.
During his August 12 campaign trip to Harlem, New York to promote “self-reliance,” Carson said black Americans must realize that “there is a way to go that will lead to upward mobility as opposed to dependency, and let’s talk about that way, and let’s not be satisfied to be patted on the head and kept like a pet.” Carson was referencing the conservative “welfare queen” contention – that poor, black Americans have chosen the easy malaise of economic dependence over bootstrapping their way to the middle class.
While touting “self-reliance” as a form of individual empowerment, Carson is de-emphasizing race and ignoring racism as a powerful social force that constrains people and limits their choices, instead redirecting the conversation America could – and is starting to – have on race to one of morality.
That is, his supposedly populist call for empowering the black community to rise beyond economic circumstances and become independent, is really trotting out the old Bill Cosby line that black communities have chosen poverty over success or dependency over mobility. “Those whole value systems, the values and principles that created strong families and gave people that kind of foundation that they needed to resist the influences on the street – those are not there anymore,” he said during his Harlem campaign stop.
But black people in America face structural barriers to achievement that begin with crowded and underfunded schools followed by a pay gap between them and their white peers regardless of the educational level they attain. When a black man minimizes this to endear him to his target base, it just makes it harder for everyone else who doesn’t have the luxury of denying pervasive truths. Carson places an unfair distance not just between himself and potential voters but between disadvantaged communities and the voting process. Why go out and vote when politicians use your community as an example of what’s “wrong” with America?
While his supporters may find his brand of “raceless” individualism and self-reliance to be compelling, communities of color – which must contend not only with the disempowering effects of structural racism but also with politicians encouraging self-blame and decontextualized “bootstraps” pathology as the path to liberation – have little reason to support Carson or any of his peers at the polls.