There are two fields commonly associated with high degrees of intelligence: rocket scientist and brain surgeon are lauded as the “smartest” professions around, according to various streams of our vernacular anyway. But Dr. Ben Carson, a former brain surgeon, disproves that theory practically every time he speaks. How a man so talented in medicine could be such a dimwit outside of said practice is, in itself, a medical mystery.
Ben Carson claiming that Obamacare is the worst thing to happen in America since slavery, or likening homosexuality to bestiality and membership in NAMBLA, or explaining why, in his opinion, Obamacare is worse than 9/11… these are all strong indications that Ben Carson is, for lack of a more polite term, a f–king nincompoop. “Idiot” simply doesn’t do this man’s stupidity justice.
But all of that is merely the sort of jackassery we’ve all come to expect from a right-wing nut. Unlike so many other right-wing figures who’ve made similar idiotic statements, Ben Carson is in a class of his own, almost literally, because unlike most other right-wing nuts, Ben Carson is black.
Black Republicans are very few and far between, but they do exist. Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Condoleezza Rice, and Mia Love come immediately to mind, while Colin Powell is arguably the most moderate Republican alive today, regardless of race. But there’s a reason why Ben Carson is often called an Uncle Tom, while those others typically aren’t (Clarence Thomas is labeled as such occasionally, but not often): none of those other figures disparage black Americans nearly as often as Dr. Carson does.
Carson earns the “Uncle Tom” label because, quite frankly, he demeans other black people, all while masquerading as a crusader for black causes. Take a look at his remarks during a visit to Harlem this past August and you’ll see a wide assortment of instances where Carson was dismissive to black causes in lieu of Republican talking points, while criticizing the 90+ percent of black voters who support democrats.
“Of course black lives matter,” Carson said, during a lunch meeting at Sylvia’s, a world-famous restaurant in Harlem. “What I feel, instead of people pointing fingers at each other and just creating strife, what we need to talk about is, how do we solve the problem in the black community of murder. For a young black male, in the inner city, homicide is the most likely cause of death. That’s ridiculous.”
Carson’s ignorant statement about #BlackLivesMatter has been a standard conservative talking point since well before BLM’s inception: in their view, it’s somehow a waste of time to talk about the fact that police officers treat black suspects and civilians differently than white suspects and civilians, and that it doesn’t make sense to open a social dialogue about white privilege and the mere existence of racism, because black on black crime exists, and we’re apparently only capable of tackling one problem at a time.
Carson went on to further disparage black voters by continuing the nonsensical right-wing assertion posited by figures like Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, that black voters only support democrats because they want handouts. It has nothing to do with Democrats’ positions on any number of issues, or the fact that Democrats are more inclined to recognize inequality and attempt, legislative and otherwise, to correct those societal wrongs. Nope… it’s all about getting free stuff.
“I think it’s because the Democrat Party has subscribed to the Lyndon Johnson philosophy,” Carson claimed. “Lyndon Johnson said, `if you give those ‘n-words’ such and such, they’ll vote for us for the next 200 years.’ What the Republican Party needs to do is come out and discuss more the kinds of relationships and the programs that will actually bring people out of poverty, that will give them the ability to use their God-given talents to rise, rather than to simply be satisfied in a dependent position in society.”
So, not only does Carson seem to believe that black voters are incapable of determining who they’ll vote for based on an assortment of issues that matter to them most, he’s also saying black people wouldn’t vote unless enticed by handouts. He also seems to think Republicans have proposed ideas that would benefit the black community. I’d ask Ben Carson to name a single Republican proposal from the past forty years that was focused intently on equality and enhancing the quality of life in the black community, but I’m sure his head would explode, and even Carson, a master-class neurosurgeon, couldn’t put that mess back together again.
Ben Carson has been making these sorts of statements — and subsequently defending himself against allegations that he’s an Uncle Tom –for several years now. Back in 2013, when few outside of conservative circles knew who Ben Carson even was, the former neurosurgeon defended himself against allegations that he was an Uncle Tom… while claiming that black voters who disagreed with him were trying to “stay on the plantation” in the same breath. The comment hardly made a blip because of Carson’s relative lack of celebrity back then, but his likening black voters to slaves didn’t go unnoticed, and certainly hasn’t been forgotten.
So, is Ben Carson really an “Uncle Tom?” It sure seems that way. He disparages the black community and tunes out the issues that matter most to black Americans. He questions the intelligence and the motivations of the vast majority of black voters. And he ideologically aligns himself with a party that has been doing all of the above for at least the past thirty or forty years, never more so than in the past ten years. If that doesn’t make him an Uncle Tom, I don’t know what would. But whatever it is, it can’t be much worse than the things Ben Carson has already said and done.