GOP Candidate Ben Carson Maintains Charleston Massacre Was Fueled by Racism

Ben Carson
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Ben Carson
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson wrote in a Monday USA Today op-ed that leaders ought to be clear in articulating that last week's church massacre in Charleston, S.C., resulted from racism.

To Carson, it's clear that the gunman, Dylann Roof, was fueled by racial hatred because he is alleged to have uttered racially charged statements during the shooting. So Carson wrote of being baffled by "people who are claiming that they can lead this country who dare not call this tragedy an act of racism"— all "for fear of offending a particular segment of the electorate." 

A retired neurosurgeon who has often been lambasted by pundits for his singular take on national affairs, Carson said that he understands "the sensitivities" involved with attributing a event to racism, since many would like to move beyond the past. 


"Not everything is about race in this country," Carson said. "But when it is about race, then it just is," he said, arguing that this particular situation should be discussed without the typical political dynamics of everyone engaging in the blame game or playing the race card needlessly. 

"So when a guy who has been depicted wearing a jacket featuring an apartheid-era Rhodesian flag allegedly walks into a historic black church and guns down nine African-American worshipers at a Bible study meeting, common sense leads one to believe his motivations are based in racism," Carson wrote.

Carson warned of the repercussions of hesitation: "Refusing to call it what it is—racism—is a far more dangerous proposition," he said. "It reminds me of the early response to Ebola," he said, maintaining that American health officials' hesitancy to respond aggressively to the outbreak resulted in a death. 

Read more at USA Today.

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