Ben Carson: Barack Obama ‘Raised White’ and ‘Didn’t Grow Up Like I Grew Up’

Carson and Obama AP

GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson says President Obama was “raised white.” Carson made the comment during an interview with POLITICO’s “Off Message” podcast, where he discussed race relations in America.

“He’s an ‘African’ American. He was, you know, raised white,” the retired neurosurgeon stated.

I mean, like most Americans, I was proud that we broke the color barrier when he was elected, but … he didn’t grow up like I grew up … Many of his formative years were spent in Indonesia. So, for him to, you know, claim that, you know, he identifies with the experience of black Americans, I think, is a bit of a stretch.

Carson grew up in poverty with a single mother. He shared with Politico his thoughts on racism in Detroit during the 1960’s. Politico reported that Carson suggested that it is something “that Barack Obama could never understand.”

He also commented on the racial riots in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland throughout the past year.

“Remember now, I’ve been around for 64 years, you know,” Carson added. “I’ve had a chance to see what real racism is.”

“They assume because you’re black, you have to think a certain way,” Carson said of progressives. “And if you don’t think that way, you’re ‘Uncle Tom,’ you’re worthy of every horrible epithet they can come up with; whereas, if I weren’t black, then I would just be a Republican.”

“I don’t find any particular problem being an African American in the Republican Party,” he added.

Maybe I’m just very nonobservant. You know, I don’t go around looking for things, and you have to understand that whatever you think is going on is probably what you’re going to see. So, if somebody told you that you’re about to meet somebody and they’re really a mass murderer and they’re just looking for an opportunity to kill you, everything they say, you’re going to say, ‘Uh‑huh, I see what he’s trying to do.’ Whereas, if they told you the very same person really loves everybody and is looking for a way to enhance them and the very same thing, you say, “Oh, wow, yeah, that’s really good.”

Politico asked Carson if he thought the water crisis in Flint, Michigan had anything to do with race.

“Let me put it this way: If that were going on in an affluent black community, it would have not gone on,” Carson responded. He added, “A lot of things that people classify as racism is classism, and, believe me, there’s a lot of classism in our society, and if people of a certain race happen to fall into a lower class, then they get the brunt of it.”


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