UPDATED 8:55 AM PT — Monday, June 8, 2020
Ben Carson recently shared his personal experience with systemic racism, while proposing ways to move the country forward.
On Sunday, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper to give his input on the matter as protesters nationwide are demanding structural reform.
While condemning the death of George Floyd as a “blatant and callous murder,” Carson said he grew up when there was “real systemic racism” and cited an experience when he was an 8th grade student.
“I was the only black student, I got the highest academic achievement and the teacher got up and berated the other students,” he explained. “They weren’t trying hard enough because a black kid was number one and that kind of thing was not uncommon when I was growing up.”
Carson also called for protesters to focus their message and make sure their demands are clear. Specifically, he criticized the NFL protests in 2016, which started after former quarterback Colin Kapernick chose not to stand for the national anthem.
In his opinion, Carson wished the players were more specific about what they were protesting because some fans thought players were simply disrespecting the American flag.
“My personal feeling is if those players were to come out and say, ‘we love our nation, we are patriots, we love our flag, we honor the memory of those who died to give us our freedom,’ but we are protesting some of the brutality that has occurred and that’s why we’re doing this, I think it would solve the problem,” he explained.
Carson admitted that there is and will be racism in this country, but argued this is an opportune time to fight it. He called on protesters to not let this moment slip away and urged them to focus their efforts on getting rid of damaging policies as well as going after rouge police officers.
“Let’s not be fooled, let’s not be seduced into accepting silly things that make absolutely no sense because we want to honor somebody,”he said. “And let’s just make sure that we think this thing through.”
The HUD secretary called on both sides of the aisle to come together and stressed the American people are not each others’ enemies. Carson also noted that President Trump will speak about healing the nation in detail sometime this week.