Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson believes today’s racial protests are not reflective of Martin Luther King’s legacy.
When asked during a Monday CSPAN Washington Journal interview whether the racial protests that occurred after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner represented what King was about, carson said they did not.
Though he said it was important for people to speak out “so long as it is done in a legal and peaceful way,” Carson said he did not want demonstrators to be “manipulated.”
“If we’re going to be taken seriously in the black community, we must be objective,” Carson said.
He added that “if there is somebody engaged in a lot criminal activity and a lot of violence… and something happens,” it “blunts any arguments we have down the road when something really does happen” if the black community gets outraged and hails people as heroes so long as they are black.
“It’s basically crying wolf,” he said. “That really delegitimizes us. And yes those lives are important but we need to be thinking about things that what we can do to prevent those situations from occurring in the first place.”
Carson spoke about teaching young people values, how to react to authority and personal responsibility. He said young ladies need to be taught that they are valuable so they do not “let someone impregnate them and end their education and send their children into a spiral of poverty and let this go on generation after generation.” Carson said there won’t be “any progress until we deal with these things.”
He placed an emphasis on teaching black children the history of great black inventors and entrepreneurs throughout American history. He listed black inventors and entrepreneurs who invented street sweepers, refrigeration systems on trucks, traffic signals, gas masks, underwater canons, and cosmetic products for women with dark complexions in addition to those who conducted the first open heart surgery and made advancements in the blood plasma field. Carson did not leave out Elijah McCoy, who invented so many things that people would often ask for the “real McCoy.”
Carson also recalled very “vivid” memories of Martin Luther King as a young person in the 1960s. He said King’s death was traumatizing and mentioned that he actually hid some of his white classmates at his high school in the biology lab because they were targets of “animosity” the day after King’s assassination just because they were white.
Carson said that King would be “disappointed” with the state of the black community because the “trajectory of the black community in America from emancipation” was “almost straight up until the mid- to late-60s.”
“Since that time, it’s been going down,” Carson said. “You have to ask yourself, what happened?”
Carson said that “a lot of people who considered themselves great and wonderful do-gooders started patting people on the head and saying, “there, there you little poor thing. You’ve been through so much… I’m going to take care of all your needs.”
Carson said that mentality has “created a cycle dependency” that King did not want because he “wanted a situation where people had a fair and equal chance to develop their God-given talents. And to excel and be contributors instead” of needing to be taken care of.