November 19, 2015
Presidential candidate Ben Carson admitted to a forum at Allen University that he has only heard of one unarmed black victim of police brutality, Tamir Rice.
“I’m not aware of a lot of cases where a police officer comes up to someone like you and says ‘Hey, I don’t like you. I’m going to shoot you, I’m still waiting for the evidence.”
Moderator and BET personality, Jeff Johnson quickly responded: “I’ll show you the Tamir Rice tape,” immediatley followed by loud applause from the audience.
When presented with information, such as, the fact that whites in Ferguson were more likely to be found to be in possession of contraband but black people were arrested at double the rate, as well as, the fact that 86% of all vehicle stops in Ferguson involved blacks, he back pedaled but maintained a “bad apple” narrative.
In October at a New Hampshire campaign event, Carson joked about running from the police as a youth.
Throwing rocks at cars, I really liked that. Sometimes, the police would come, always in unmarked cars. And, they’d be chasing us across the field, and they would think they trapped us. Now, that was back in the days before they would shoot you.
He paused and then added: “I’m just kidding! You know they wouldn’t do that.”
Umm… Yes Dr. Carson they will. In fact the police have killed, on average, 3 people every day for the past 2 years. Since the start of the Iraq war police have killed more people in the U.S. than terrorists killed soldiers during the longest war the U.S. has ever been in. Could this be a sign that the real threat to our freedom is not in another country but right here at home?
Carson is not only out of touch with a serious problem within the black community, especially its youth, his lackadaisical manner when approaching police violence in general makes me wonder how out of touch he really is? After all 67 people, including Jeremy Mardis and Jamar Clark have been killed by police in November alone. Jeremy Mardis was a 6-year-old kid riding in the car with his dad when officers opened fire, striking him 6 times and leaving his father in critical condition. Jamar Clark was a 24-year-old who witnesses say was in handcuffs when officers shot him in the head.
Ben Carson has even praised the police for the work they do. Regardless of the lives stolen and ruined by law enforcement, Carson believes they are the last people who should be targeted. He is the only black presidential candidate in either party expressing reluctance when addressing the role of race in policing and the numerous deaths of black people at the hands of police
Although Carson may be out of touch with a serious problem within the black community, particularly its youth, I wonder how out of touch with reality he really is? After all 67 people, including Jeremy Mardis a 6 year old boy and Jamar Clark a 24 year old man, witness’s say was in handcuffs when he was shot in the head, have been killed by police in this month alone.
Still the only name Carson can come up with is Tamir Rice. Not that we shouldn’t remember the murder of Tamir Rice as well as maintain pressure on the City of Cleveland 1 year later, but over one-thousand deaths at the hands of police in the year following, aren’t even a blip on Ben Carson’s radar.
Dr. Carson isn’t just ignorant when it comes to police violence. There is a whole list of subjects that you should understand when asking the majority of a country to elect you as the face of their nation, that he has little to no understanding of.
Two weeks ago, Carson denounced protests to dismantle campus-wide racism across the nation, calling it “anarchy” and “Infantile.” Recently a top aide in his campaign, revealed he knew very little about foreign policy and just days ago, Carson was called out for likening Syrian refugees to rabid dogs. And when asked about the Black Lives Matter movement during the Saturday forum, Carson said activists should be focusing on “Black lives that are lost at abortion clinics.”
I think it’s pretty obvious that you can’t trust state actors regardless of their capacity to actually protect you, especially when the criminal wears a uniform or a badge. More often than not, it’s best to take responsibility for your own protection. Advances in technology makes this even easier, with creative apps like Cell 411 offering live stream, notification and many other useful options make it great for alerting people when you need someone trustworthy to help you with an emergency situation instead of having to take your chances with potentially violent strangers.