‘We Must First Come Together’: Ben Carson Addresses Racism, Identity Politics in RNC Speech
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson addressed race issues and said that President Donald Trump is not a racist in his Republican National Convention speech Thursday night.
The former neurosurgeon began his speech by addressing the Kenosha, Wisconsin riots saying that a “serene response” was required rather than a violent response. He urged Americans to “come together in love” of fellow citizens.
Carson then said that people “on the other side” intend to incite division when they call Trump a racist.
“President Trump does not dabble in identity politics,” Carson said. “He wants everyone to succeed and believes in the adage, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’”
He also spoke about how his mother told him to never succumb to victimhood.
“My mother always told me ‘Ben, you can do anything, but I will never allow you to become a victim,’” Carson recounted. “It was then that I stopped listening to the people who were trying to convince me that I was a victim and that others were responsible for my victimhood.
Carson cited an award Trump received from civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, a “crusade” Trump led to get private clubs in Florida to admit black people and the financial support he has given to historically black colleges. He also stated that Trump’s record on prison reform and black unemployment was favorable.
“President Trump accomplished prison reform,” said Carson. “He created incentives to encourage investors to become involved with economically-deprived areas of America.”
Trump signed the FIRST STEP Act into law in December 2018, according to The Brennan Center for Justice. The criminal reform legislation includes sentencing reform provisions and aims to reduce unnecessarily long federal sentences.
Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a nonviolent drug offender, in June 2018. Johnson endorsed Trump at the convention Thursday and called the FIRST STEP Act “real justice reform.”
Carson also referred to abortion as racist and applauded Trump’s record on pro-life causes.
“What is racist is the fact that African Americans have the highest abortion rate,” Carson said. “President Trump is the most pro-life President in our country’s history. He will continue to fight for those who cannot yet speak.”
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