Dr. Ben Carson on Healing America’s Identity Crisis
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RACISM AND THE CHURCH
Referring to Alexis de Tocqueville’s study of America in the 1830’s, Dr. Carson notes the great role of churches in helping Americans establish a sense of morality and duty. He says it is not simply a religious structure which provided those ideals. “It is a true belief in the power of God and the power of good. The power of God gives us the ability to do that which is good, both individually and as a nation.”
Carson believes that one reason America has remained a free nation which promotes life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as God-given rights is because of the influence of both churches and faith-based communities. “If the position of faith-based communities is diminished and freedom of religion is compromised by the government, all of our other freedoms will also be compromised,” he says. “This is the reason that the very first amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America emphasizes freedom of religion.”
The fight against all evils, like racism, must continue, he warns. “As our nation has tried to move away from God, godly principles have fallen by the wayside. This has provided an opening for cruelty and indifference toward those in need, and indeed toward anyone who disagrees with the ‘woke’ agenda. It will be up to the faith community to forcefully advocate for godly principles of tolerance and love once again.”
After summarizing the history of American slavery and racism in Created Equal, Dr. Carson acknowledges the immeasurable damage they have done. He explains some of the countless atrocities which took place when the nation was founded, in the Civil War, during Reconstruction, and amidst segregation and the civil rights movement of the late 1900s. Carson then turns to the immense progress which has been made along racial lines in recent decades.
One such example is the landmark decision in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, in which the Supreme Court decided unanimously that segregation was not warranted by the U.S. Constitution. Another is the “March Against Fear,” in June 1966, in which four civil rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., marched from Memphis to Jackson, Mississippi to encourage Blacks to register to vote. They ended their march with 15,000 sympathizers in Jackson.
In the 60’s, Carson reminds us, there were very few Black-owned businesses, Black NFL quarterbacks, or Black Emmy Award winners. Today, it’s a very different picture. “Real progress has been made,” he says, “but there are those who want you to believe that things are worse rather than better than decades ago. It’s just not true. These people have their own narratives that they are trying to impose upon our society. But this is not the American way.”
EDUCATION AND MEDIA
One key to quelling racism, Dr. Carson fervently believes, is education, which he refers to as “the great equalizer.” Offering his own life story as an example, Dr. Carson says that no matter one’s circumstances, with a good education, he can write his own ticket in terms of future success. “Instead of listening to the voices of
victimhood and revenge,” he advises, “we should hear the souls of those who understood that true freedom will only be maintained by those who avail themselves of the knowledge of how the ecosystem in which they exist operates and that understanding comes through education.”
With respect to the media, Carson says it is fueling racism in far too many cases, and needs to be closely evaluated and reformed. “When social media and the press combine to punish people who do or say the ‘wrong’ things according to their gospel, and they punish these people with cancellation, job loss, damaged reputation, or a host of other things with the complicity of the government, this is nothing short of restriction of speech and is antithetical to the First Amendment of the Constitution. The fact that America has so easily slipped into a position where its citizens are reluctant to express their opinions in public is cause for great alarm.”
CRITICAL RACE THEORY AND THE 1619 PROJECT
“Critical race theory is one of the ideological pillars of the groups wanting to fundamentally change America,” Dr. Carson explains. He says the goal is to portray all white Americans as racists, intent on protecting their own interests at the expense of minorities. “It also entails a belief that race is not a biologically natural entity but rather a social construct used to suppress people of color.” He adds that proponents of CRT advocate for defunding the police and other socially destructive actions, believing that legal and governmental institutions in America are inherently racist.
The goal of the 1619 Project, initiated by The New York Times, is to establish that year as the nation’s true origin, marked by the arrival of the first African slaves in America, rather than 1776, when we declared independence from Great Britain. Carson points out that the first slaves likely arrived in the 1500s, but more importantly, that the intent of the 1619 Project is to portray America as somehow more evil than all the other civilizations where slavery existed. Without minimizing the evils of slavery, Carson also reminds us that a great number of Americans were morally outraged by it and willing to endure a civil war -- and potentially lose a great portion of the country -- to end the practice.
THE PATH FORWARD
Dr. Carson offers many ideas to help subdue racism in America:
• “One of the first things we must do is stop looking for a racial angle in every conflict,” he says.
• Carson calls Black Americans not to believe all they hear from progressive politicians. He says they have “a particular disdain for conservative Blacks who refuse to be constrained by left-wing ideology. If there is a form of systemic racism, it exists among the political class that thinks they have the right to determine how Black people should think.”
• “We must abandon the idea that all white people are oppressors. This is one of the most ridiculous charges ever leveled against any group in our nation. The vast majority of white people never owned slaves and never had the power or desire to reengineer our society in a way to establish or preserve white power.”
• “We cannot persist with the escalation of identity politics if we are to have peace in a multicultural and multiethnic nation. Stoking the fires of division based on racial identity is a no-brainer for the forces what wish to divide and conquer. We cannot let them prevail.”
• “Another way to move forward involves a non-political look at police /community relations. The police must be willing to take a serious look at non-lethal methods for restraining uncooperative people, and communities must be willing to actually look at the data regarding police brutality…”
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