While on Meet the Press Sunday, unintentionally ironic former neurosurgeon Ben Carson compared abortion to slavery, stating, “During slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave. Anything that they chose to do. And what if the abolitionists had said, ‘I don’t believe in slavery. I think it’s wrong, but you guys do whatever you want to do’? Where would we be?”
I imagine that many of you are reading this and wondering how and why Carson felt the need to make that analogy. Some of you may even have read my previous paragraph twice, just to make sure you weren’t missing anything. And I’m sure a couple of you even Googled this quote, just to make sure it wasn’t taken out of context.
If you did any of this, you did it because you’re a sane person. And like most sane people, you probably have trouble understanding why quasi-insane people do and say the things they do and say.
Unfortunately, your efforts will be in vain. Because trying to understand why Carson connected abortion to slavery is like asking a box of Pampers Swaddlers for directions to Detroit. All you need to know is that, for whatever reason, Carson likes to compare stuff he doesn’t like to slavery. For instance, here are his thoughts on Obamacare in 2013: “Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”
Here are a few more times that Carson may or may not have compared something he didn’t like very much to slavery.
1. Ben Carson on season 2 of The Wire:
“If you’re going to binge-watch The Wire—and I recommend that you do—you should probably skip season 2, because the way they shift the focus from the streets to the ports is like slavery.”
2. Ben Carson at Wingstop when they brought him blue cheese for his wings instead of ranch dressing:
“I clearly asked for ranch. But you trying to bamboozle me with blue cheese—which shares some aesthetic similarities to ranch dressing, so I could easily have been fooled—is worse than slavery.”
3. Ben Carson on oral sex:
“Look, there are certain places on the human body a mouth is not supposed to go. I don’t care what Lil Minaj or Nicki Kim says in their rap songs; if you require me to do that to fulfill my bedroom obligations, you might as well make me a slave.”
4. Ben Carson on waiting in line for the Megabus even though he preordered a ticket that said he didn’t have to wait in line:
“So, Megabus tricks you into buying a ticket early because of promised perks but switches things up once you get in line. Do you know who else that happened to? Africans during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, that’s who.”
5. Ben Carson on Dallas Cowboys games still being nationally televised despite their terrible record:
“I’m always forced to watch the Cowboys if I want to watch a 4 p.m. NFL game. When Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are playing, it’s not like slavery. But when they’re injured, watching the Cowboys when I could be watching the Bengals or the Cardinals is definitely worse than slavery.”
6. Ben Carson on recycling:
“A thousand years from now, no one will be able to tell the difference between old Pepsi cans and the leftover vegetarian pasta I finally decided to throw away. But today I have to put them in separate garbage cans. Slavery won’t seem so bad a thousand years from now, either, but we know it is today.”
7. Ben Carson on the concept of gravity:
“I want to fly. Forcing me to exist in an atmosphere where I’m unable to fly is like putting chains on me. Figuratively and literally.”
8. Ben Carson on his partner continually underbidding in spades:
“We should have 300 points by now. But because you don’t know how to bid, we only have 210. I want to switch partners, but because of the rules of spades, I’m forced to stay with you until the end of the game. This is slavery.”
9. Ben Carson on a pair of pants he’s been looking for for a few hours but can’t find:
“I never know what my wife is doing with my pants. Attempting to find them is like being in a slave auction.”
10. Ben Carson on making sense:
“Look, just because you have your own version of facts and your own understanding of sanity does not mean I have to share your beliefs. In fact, asking me to use the same facts you do instead of inventing my own is no different from asking me to be your slave.”
Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas.com. He is also a contributing editor at Ebony.com. He lives in Pittsburgh and he really likes pancakes. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.