Growing up as a Black millennial in America, you’re bound to hear the name Dr. Ben Carson once or twice.
Black History Month means his picture finds itself up on themed classroom bulletin boards alongside the likes of Dr. King and Muhammad Ali.
Dr. Carson’s political career has certainly taken the opposite path of his heroic career as an acclaimed neurosurgeon. Frankly, it’s left us a bit disappointed.
It was nearly three years ago Ben Carson publicly announced that Obamacare was the worst thing to happen to America since slavery, and the now dimming light that was his public persona was crafted and thrust into the forefront.
So, when his 2016 presidential bid kicked into high gear last year, seeing the Black History icon swimming in a sea of unapologetic brash remarks and ideologies spewed out by his fellow GOP candidates, it stung a bit.
Watching the “Gifted Hands” surgeon struggle to revive what’s been left of his presidential bid in past months has been awkward to watch at best, and his latest comment on President Obama’s qualifications are kind of puzzling.
It was on Saturday as Ben Carson sat down with Politico’s “Off Message” podcast awaiting the results of the Nevada caucuses, where he would eventually finish sixth out of six, that he expressed that his upbringings in Detroit during the 1960s makes him a more relatable Black leader than Barack Obama.
“He’s an ‘African’ American. He was, you know, raised white,” Carson began. “I mean, like most Americans, I was proud that we broke the color barrier when he was elected, but … he didn’t grow up like I grew up … Many of his formative years were spent in Indonesia. So, for him to, you know, claim that, you know, he identifies with the experience of Black Americans, I think, is a bit of a stretch.”
While Carson was raised by a single mother, who worked three jobs, and, at times, made use of government aid in order to provide for Ben and his older brother, Barack Obama was raised by his white mother and white grandparents as he received his primary, secondary, and post-secondary education from across the country, but to say that that is reason enough to proclaim that the nation’s first Black president hasn’t struggled as an African-American man in the United States “is a bit of a stretch.”
An interesting response followed soon thereafter when Politico’s Glenn Thrush asked Ben Carson on whether or not he believed Donald Trump was racist.
“I have not witnessed anything that would make me say that about him,” Carson responded. “Maybe I’m just very nonobservant. You know, I don’t go around looking for things, and you have to understand that whatever you think is going on is probably what you’re going to see,” he went on to add.
It seems Ben Carson has been ‘nonobservant’ to things such as Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States, Trump’s denouncement of Mexicans as being rapists, his racially charged advocacy of the death penalty throughout and following the “Central Park Five” case, or the Department of Justice’s racial bias case against Mr. Trump after using a racial code that would keep Black renters out of his properties.
It seems that Ben Carson only witnesses racism among those who can’t accept a Black man being a part of and actively running in the Republican party.
Despite all of the controversy that surrounds his declining campaign, it seems that Dr. Carson is in it for the long haul. When Thrush asked Carson on whether or not he ever gets angry, he response was coincidentally this.
“If I’m working with a very obnoxious person, I just say, ‘That used to be a cute little baby,'” he said. “I wonder what happened to them.”