Dr. Ben Carson in Ferguson: The Nation Needs to ‘De-Emphasize Race’

AP Photo/Danny Johnston
AP Photo/Danny Johnston
Ferguson, MO

As part of his campaign for president, Dr. Ben Carson visited Ferguson, Missouri, the site of some of the most destructive rioting in recent years. While touring the city, Carson insisted that the nation needs to “de-emphasize” race and accused Obama of dragging the nation backwards on the issue.

Carson, one of the nation’s leading neurosurgeons, said that the riot-torn Missouri city reminded him of his childhood growing up in inner-city Detroit where violence and poverty reigned.

But even as the so-called Black Lives Matters movement was launched from the unrest in Ferguson, Carson defied the trend of stirring racial strife by delivering a message of reconciliation, not division.

“We need to de-emphasize race. And we need to emphasize respect,” Carson said after his visit to the city.

The GOP presidential candidate continued saying that the word “black” does not belong in the rallying cry “black lives matter.”

“I would prefer it be taken out,” Carson told the media. “I obviously prefer that we focus on everybody. At the same time, I recognize that they’re trying to say that they feel that they’ve been treated unfairly–in many cases they have–I’m not going to take that away from them.”

Carson went on to lay some of the blame for the nation’s unrest on President Obama.

“I think we’ve actually regressed with this administration and its emphasis on race, because it emphasizes race to indicate that things are not progressing well. And that just isn’t true,” Carson insisted.

In fact, Carson felt that race has become more of a problem than ever because, “we’re talking about it a lot more–more people complaining that they’re being treated unfairly. I don’t think we need to be emphasizing what’s unjust. I think we need to be emphasizing what opportunities there are.”

“A lot of people perceive everything through racial eyes. But my point is, we don’t have to do that. What we have to do instead is begin to see people as people,” Carson concluded.

Over the last month, Dr. Carson has surged in the polls, often times coming in second to real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.