Dr. Ben Carson: ‘Diversity Is Not A Problem, It Is A Strength’

Dr. Ben Carson speaks in South Carolina on MLK Day, Jan. 18, 2016
Alex Swoyer

GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson spoke about diversity at the Carolina African American Heritage Foundation’s Corporate Community Awards Breakfast in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday morning.

“We have a responsibility to be courageous,” Carson told the audience, saying it’s too easy to go along with everyone else, but “that’s not what Jesus did. That’s not what Martin Luther King did.”

“Education is the great divide,” Carson explained, recalling how MLK stressed the importance of education. “It was the thing that made all the difference for me.”

Carson talked about his mother and how she raised her children as a single mother with no education. “She never felt sorry for herself,” Carson said, adding, “what a difference that makes.”

Carson, who is a retired pediatric neurosurgeon, said that it’s important to educate young black boys, “Give him a black history lesson he will never forget.”

Carson used a hypothetical example of walking a 6-year-old black boy down the street in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and pointing out everything that was developed or invented by an African America ancestor.

I think Dr. King would have been quick to point out that that young man has no reason to believe that his ancestors didn’t play an important role in the development of this country and that he should not be fully engaged in the welfare of this country. I think he would point out that I could take that same walk down the street with virtually any nationality and point out tremendous contributions that were made. That’s one of the amazing things about this country [in] which we live.

“Our diversity is not a problem. It is a strength and we have to stop allowing ourselves to be divided,” Carson told the audience. “We think there’s a war on women and race wars and income wars and age wars and religious wars and a war on everything.”

“Jesus Christ himself said it… a house divided against itself cannot stand,” he reminded the crowd. “We need to start emphasizing what we have in common.”

Carson spoke about the need of the family structure in the black community.

“Come back to your roots,” He said, referencing what has made the African American community strong. “It was faith and family.”

“We have to be willing to stop the madness, stop the excuses and particularly those of us, those of you in the clergy, don’t worry about political correctness,” He said, adding only worry about what is right and what is wrong.

Carson is also expected to participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. parade in Myrtle Beach later today.


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