Dr. Ben Carson, one of the several candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, opined on August 24 that the anger expressed by the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States is misguided.
Writing at USA Today, retired neurosurgeon Carson wrote “The ‘BlackLivesMatter’ movement is focused on the wrong targets, to the detriment of blacks who would like to see real change and to the benefit of its powerful white liberal funders using the attacks on Sanders for political purposes that mean nothing for the problems that face our community.”
Carson continued, “The notion that some lives might matter less than others is meant to enrage,” adding, “That anger is distracting us from what matters most. We’re right to be angry, but we have to stay smart.”
“The notion that some lives might matter less than others is meant to enrage.”
“Of course, the protesters are right that racial policing issues exist and some rotten policemen took actions that killed innocent people. Those actions were inexcusable and they should be prosecuted to deter such acts in the future,” Carson wrote.
He noted that many people in cities rife with crime, violence, and unemployment are bereft of hope. “I grew up in neighborhoods most Americans were told to never drive through. I saw bullets, drugs and death in the same places I played tag and ball with my friends. Both of my older cousins died on the streets where I lived. I thought that was my destiny,” he wrote. Carson grew up in Detroit, and overcame poverty with his family's support and insistence on education. In particular, Carson's mother played a key role in setting out family expectations.
“But my mother didn’t,” wrote Carson. “She changed all of that. She saved my brother and me from being killed on those streets with nothing but a library card.”
In his column, Carson proposed that adherents of the Black Lives Matter movement should express their views to the following: 1.) local board of education 2.) entertainment industry 3.) city hall 4.) drug dealers 5.) both political parties.
Earlier in August, Carson said after an event in New York City that protesters should also focus on black-on-black crime. Indeed, according to the Violence Policy Center - a think-tank based in Washington D.C. - data provided by the FBI showed that in 2009 there were 6,505 black homicide victims in the United States. The homicide rate among black victims in the United States was 17.90 per 100,000. For that year, the overall national homicide rate was 4.76 per 100,000.
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