Former republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson compared himself and other Black conservatives to “runaway slaves” who were abused and made examples of in order to instill fear into others.
“Just remember that this is not anything that’s any different than many, many years ago during slavery,” Carson said while discussing his conservative beliefs on Fox News Political Analyst Gianno Caldwell’s podcast Outloud with Gianno Caldwell. “If you ran away and you got caught, they didn’t just kill you. They brought you back and tormented you in front of everyone else so that you would get the lesson: Do not run away”.
During the podcast, the two conservative Black men discussed how they’re viewed in Black communities. Carson said he believes Black conservatives face institutional racism. Hmm…so does he think non-conservative Black people are out here swimming in privilege? If he knew his history he would know that Blacks across the board face institutional racism. For him to compare himself and other conservatives to runaway enslaved people is absurd and offensive.
I’m not saying the Democratic party isn’t flawed. Of course it is. But the Republican party is known for looking out for the rich at the expense of minority communities. Carson should know better than anyone what it’s like to grow up not having. If you’re unfamiliar with Carson’s story, take a look at the 2009 film Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. It details his childhood and how he experienced several disadvantages while growing up in poverty. If anything, Carson should be a major advocate for Black and Brown communities to ensure they have equal opportunities. But no. Instead, he’s spending his time supporting oppressors and crying about why he’s being ridiculed by his own community.
Carson went on to say, “And it’s the same lesson now. Do not depart from what we told you. Do not think for yourself and if you do, we’re gonna try and make an example of you so other people won’t do it. But the way I see it, you have to just ask yourself, ‘What is the right thing to do?’ You have to pray and ask God to give you wisdom and move forward.”
There isn’t anything wrong with thinking for yourself. I highly encourage everyone be an independent thinker, but when you become a puppet, a spokesperson or a mouthpiece for a group of people who don’t care anything about you, or issues plaguing your community, then you need to take a step back and reassess. If you’re affiliated with a group that opposes legislation that would benefit minority communities and help them gain access to a piece of the “American pie,” then you are a part of the problem. You are actively working against and helping to oppress your own people.
No one is criticizing Carson for having his own thoughts. He’s being criticized for sharing the same thoughts as slave owners, racists and misogynists who want to see white supremacy prevail.