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It’s pathetic that Ben Carson, the world-renown neurosurgeon, will say almost anything to preserve his status as a black mouthpiece for the Republican Party.

And now it’s come to this: Carson has trivialized decades of black oppression and distorted the efforts of the nation’s first black president in one mind-numbing sentence.

“I have to tell you Obamacare is, really I think, the worst thing that’s happened in this nation since slavery,” Carson said in a recent speech to the conservative Voter Values Summit.

Say this for Carson: With just 20 words, he dishonors generations of black Americans with his biased revisionist history.

If Carson truly believes his own rhetoric, then he has belittled the most heinous mass persecution of blacks in American history while also failing to comprehend the Affordable Care Act, which is designed to offer health insurance to 40 million Americans who need it, many of whom are black.

It’s a shame that Carson, who is a brilliant brain surgeon, can be so misguided when it comes to the history — and future — of African Americans. Carson, who is black, wields the slavery of black people as an odd illustration to criticize the nation’s first black president.

It’s a twisted sort of logic.

Carson should read the historic legislation of 1865 that abolished slavery in the United States. Maybe then Carson would understand that offering Americans affordable health care cannot in any way be linked to black people being forced to work in the fields of the Deep South under a sweltering sun with limited food and water; black people who were not allowed to learn to read and write; black women who were raped repeatedly; and black men who felt the sting of the lash — and who were murdered — just for speaking out.

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction,” the amendment to abolish slavery read.

For me, slavery – and the African slave trade – steered me on a spiritual journey through the discovery of a sunken slave ship called the Henrietta Marie.

Thirty feet underwater, I touched the wooden hull of the slave ship, ran my hands through the sand, and held bright-colored glass beads that were used by Europeans to trade for African men, women and children in the late 1600s. I was scuba diving into my past.

In 1993, I was part of a group of black scuba divers that placed a one-ton monument on the wreck site of the Henrietta Marie, which sank off Key West, Florida in 1700. We marked the site to commemorate the African people who died aboard the Henrietta Marie and those who were lost during the Middle Passage.

Today, the monument is the only underwater memorial of its kind in the nation.

A bronze plaque is embedded on the concrete monument. The inscription reads: “Henrietta Marie: In memory and recognition of the courage, pain and suffering of enslaved African people. Speak her name and gently touch the souls of our ancestors.”

Carson, perhaps, will never understand – or articulate – this spiritual link to his African ancestors because he can only use slavery as a warped political tool to attack President Obama. Carson’s inflammatory comments comes as Republicans are desperately trying to court black voters and hoping that Carson’s credible pedigree will resonate with African Americans.

I doubt it. Conjuring slavery to take a cheap shot at Obama’s Affordable Care Act is historically distorted and a slap to black heritage.

Carson has truly sunk to a new low.

(Photo: AP)

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34 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: Ben Carson’s Conjuring Slavery is a Slap to Black Heritage

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  3. on said:

    Maybe Carson is an Uncle Tom because he speaks his mind. It is good we have a two party system. The Republicans and Democrats both have some extremist ideas and I think there is some good to both but when they meet in the middle it is usually pretty fair. I wouldn’t want to live under a one party system like under a King, Stalin, Hitler, Castro, Muntumbo, Amein, Che or a white or black apartheid where someone gets shot for their beliefs and is a threat to the state. Let the man speak his mind people have a choice to buy into it or not.

  4. I just love the way that some folks like to talk about the “Democratic plantation.” The irony is that the states that rate the lowest in terms of life expectancy, high school graduation, and having health insurance while being highest in teen pregnancies and obesity have Republican governors as well as Republican-dominated legislatures. That’s something that folks like Ben Carson need to take into consideration before he makes yet another asinine remark. Voting for a president is only PART of the process, because the people elected at state, county, and local levels have a much more immediate and direct impact on the lives of constituents that those at the federal level. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida are prime examples of states that went for President Obama in 2008 and 2012 but have Republican governors and other officials who are wreaking havoc in those states. Besides, the argument that the Republican Party freed the slaves has gotten old and stale, because that was the GOP of the distant past, not the regressive, mean-spirited GOP of 2013. If Ben Carson wants to align himself with these regressives, it’s his choice and his right. We also have the right to reject him due to loss of respect for him.

  5. Yes, Black America has prospered on the Democrat plantation, steppin and fetchin to flick that Democrat lever in the voting booth for welfare, handouts, excuses, and “protection” from imaginary “Klansmen” by the DNC. Dr. Carson shows up and the gimmedats are terrified of losing their free stuff. The only person who will catch more abuse for being a white conservative is a black one. How’s that welfare and handout thing been working for black folks? Ben Carson is the leader we all not. King 0bama is not.

  6. We are always the first to sell out on our race. These people refer to his MD as “Monkey Dance” for a dime behind closed doors. Some may do it right to his face because they are that bold. We are the first to suck up a white girls’ ass when we make a little money or get some status to only be reminded later you are just another N*****. So sad that such a talented and gifted people as we are we can never stick together.

  7. Ben Carson’s remark comparing Obamacare to slavery was by far one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard or read. He’s a brilliant neurosurgeon and judging from his autobiography, he’s an excellent writer. However, he’s aligning himself with people who are consistently on the wrong side of important issues. The very fact that Congressional Republicans have tried in vain to derail Obamacare, AKA the Affordable Care Act, more than 40 times is quite telling. Just recently, they shut down the government in order to do the same, although the ACA was already funded independently of the budget. These same people appeal to the worst in their followers with appeals to racism, misogyny, homophobia, religious bigotry, and anti-worker rhetoric. As someone already noted, there is no doubt that they have choice words for Ben Carson behind his back, given their tolerance for publicly racist comments from folks like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. In any case, aligning himself with folks who not only demonize the ACA but also offer no alternative raises justifiable doubts about Ben Carson’s judgment. What’s worse is that his comment blatantly dishonors the memory of all who suffered and endured slavery and, later, Jim Crow.a

  8. Awakenone11 on said:

    Black people who blindly support any and everything Obama is disturbing and sickening.You’re in for a sinister awakening.

  9. Joy never addresses the negative actions or policies of Obama she just leaves page long comments with no facts and Obama running from Farrakhan has really advanced him in the eyes of white America lol not. I am not surprised that you would run from the Minister like Obama coward leaders usually have coward followers.

  10. It’s my understanding that Dr. Carson has been hired as a commentator for Faux News. If true I’m sure this won’t be the last rhetoric we hear from him. Faux News pays BIG Bucks $$$ for rhetoric.

  11. Instead of being a wire-less puppet for his Conservative, white Republican friends, Dr. Carson should spend a little time with some Black historians. He appears to have forgotten about those that made it possible (through their hardships) for him to become the prominent physician who he has become. Oh, and he needs a reality check. He needs to overhear a (secretly recorded) conversation of some of his GOP friends, when he is not thought to be in their presence. Find out what they REALLY think of him. It might surprise him. Though, I doubt it. I think he already knows it. But, he is living in his own Republican-style “:bubble,” as so many of them do.

  12. I have been following Dr. Carson for decades and am very familiar with his philosophy for the bigger picture. To take one sentence out of context and use it as an inflammatory soundbite is both immature and lazy journalism. Par for this website, I’m afraid. No more for me. Goodbye.
    P.S. . .I dare you to prints what Dr. Carson REALLY thinks about improving the well-being for this generation of African-Americans and our great-grandchildren.

    • Jiggy5 on said:

      Awwow Hell no Randy, we leave the facts that don’t support our collective poisition, conveniently out. Carson is a man of great wisdom, but it’s lost on the welfare generations.

  13. Daniel Asamota on said:

    These fools always talking about Obama is a sellout they are either dumb or stupid! Black people aren’t the only ones here in America and we don’t constitute enough of a majority to give teeth to his position! He has to run the thin line between pleasing whites and blacks because whether we want to believe it or not, we didn’t put him in the White House. God ultimately did but Obama had to have a lot of white support to get there for even if EVERY black person in America voted there were not enough of us in key states to pull enough electoral votes to send him to Washington! So he can’t represent solely the interests of African Americans nor should he! Every person in America is important and should get a fair hearing of their issues! We don’t need to be selfish and evil like the white leaders of the past! We need to show ourselves bigger and better by being fair and impartial to ALL! This is the plan God has for us and instead of bitching and criticizing the President you need to be scolded so you’ll stop walking around with your pants down your ass, listening to rotten music, looking like bums! Live up to your calling as God’s chosen people and act accordingly!

  14. If Ben Carson was stuck in his childhood, his mother would be first in line for Obamacare. He forgot where he came from and how he got to where he is. Why shouldn’t others have an opportunityi at healthcare. ,

  15. Obama is just as big a sellout as Carson he sold out Farrakhan a living legend, Jeremiah Wright he is against reparations has attacked Africa several times. Obama doesn’t even acknowledge black people unless it is to lecture black men about being good fathers which is the socially acceptable speech all fake negro leaders give. Carson sold out but Obama did too. Obama is the same sellout mouthpiece for the Democrats that Carson is for the Republicans. Oh lets not forget that he got punked by a city cop and invited him to the White House for a Beer. What President has ever been disrespected by a city cop and then met with him at the White House like he was a world leader or something. A cop seriously?

  16. Blackspeak on said:

    Dr Ben got it twisted… Maybe its the stresses of being a world renowned neurosurgeon are beginning to take a toll on his psyche…

  17. What do you suppose would make a person with his credentials, career and education blow it all to be accepted by a party that will NEVER accept him. This is one of the most stupid decisions I’ve seen in a while. Wouldn’t want him to touch me in the Operating Room. No credibility now…

    • MD: I think Carson’s comments were off the mark. But I doubt he will lose any patients over his comments. #1 How many people need brain surgery? #2 If a person does need brain surgery….I would want one of the best surgeons in the world to operate on me. And, even though Carson’s comments are questionable; there’s no doubt he’s one of the best neurosurgeons in the world.

  18. Raleigh Delesbore on said:

    a right to your opinion no matter how pathetic, stupid and idiotic it sounds. I have loss all respect for this person.

  19. Really comparing a policy to help people to slavery? He is only one comment away from being treated like they are treating the president.

    • Rob: Oh….I have no doubt that some conservatives are disrespecting him behind closed doors. I kid you not….this is 2013, and several days ago a white lady called me a N. Seriously. I called her every name in the book, and then recomposed myself. The lady was clearly under some influence…drugs, or alcohol. And we know when under the influence some people say things that they won’t say to your face under normal circumstance. i’m not making excuses for her; like I said….I called her every name but the child of god

  20. Daniel Asamota on said:

    This fool is a complete idiot! I won’t have his dumbass working on me should I ever need the services of a neurosurgeon! Without the efforts of people like our President he wouldn’t even be able to practice surgery! He’d be on a plantation saying ‘yes suh massah’ singin’ glory! He really needs to use his ‘so called’ brain!

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