Ben Carson schools Jesse Jackson on the real issues of Ferguson riots

The wisdom of Dr. Ben Carson versus the hackneyed assertions of Rev. Jesse Jackson were on full display in a debate Sunday about race riots in Missouri.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace began by asking Jackson how he could characterize the shooting of Michael Brown as a “state execution” when he wasn’t privy to the facts.

benjesse0824Jackson evaded the question by citing other cases of white-on-black violence, far apart in time and space, and claiming it was “a pattern.”

“All we do know about Mike Brown is really, he was shot unarmed six times,” he said.

Wallace followed up asking, “If we don’t know, why are we declaring a verdict?” to which Jackson could only limply respond, “Well, it seems to me that the police acted as judge, jury and the executioner.”

Carson responded sagely that the issues could not be resolved in a short [TV] segment, but to look at the big picture. “I have seen police excesses, having grown up in the inner cities of Detroit and Boston,” he said. “But I’ve seen a lot more situations where the police saved the situation, and I’m not sure this is a police versus black community issue.”

He continued that he too grew up with anger problems, but said, “if you take race out of the issue altogether, and you take a group of young men and you raise them with no respect for authority, not learning to take on personal responsibility, having easy access to drugs and alcohol, they’re very likely to end up victims of violence and incarceration. Has nothing to do with race.”

But Jackson had ridden the race wagon too many decades to dismount over a fresh perspective.

“It does have a race dimension,” he argued. “It seems to me that when blacks kill whites, which is rare, it’s swift justice. When whites kill blacks, it’s rebellion. When it’s black on black, it’s a struggle that shows a kind of permissiveness – guns in, drugs in, jobs out. Racial disparity and alienation and mistrust are very combustible factors.”

Wallace pointed out to Carson that Ferguson is two thirds black yet all but three of its 53-man police force are white. “If you were a young black man living in Ferguson, wouldn’t that be a big problem for you?”

Carson agreed, but said the people needed to get involved with their community, all across America. He noted that less than 20 percent of Ferguson’s blacks had voted in the last state election.

The famed Hopkins neurosurgeon related that what saved him as a young man was his mother, that she forced him to read books.

“I read books about men of accomplishment, and what I came to understand is that the person who has the most to do with what happens in your life – it’s you,” he said. “We need to re-instill in America the ‘can-do’ attitude and not the ‘what can you do for me’ attitude.”

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Richard Berkow

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]

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