To #BlackLivesMatter: You’re Marching the Wrong Way—Signed, Ben Carson

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson speaks during a meeting with pastors and community leaders May 7, 2015, in Baltimore.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

In an opinion column published in USA Today Wednesday, Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson blasted the Black Lives Matter movement, which he said he believes is "focused on the wrong targets," and called its recent disruption of Bernie Sanders' speeches "lunacy."

The retired neurosurgeon acknowledged that protesters are right "that racial policing issues exist and some rotten policemen took actions that killed innocent people," but he expressed the view that police didn't create hopelessness in the inner cities.


"I grew up in neighborhoods most Americans were told to never drive through. I saw bullets, drugs and death in the same places I played tag and ball with my friends," Carson wrote. "Both of my older cousins died on the streets where I lived. I thought that was my destiny. But my mother didn't. She changed all of that. She saved my brother and me from being killed on those streets with nothing but a library card."

Carson said he believes that the spirit of the movement is just but that its focus could use a little direction. And to that he offered several places where the Black Lives Matter movement could march to attack what he believes are the real source of "our hopelessness."

Below are places that Carson suggested that "we" march:

The board of education: "The actions of rogue police officers take black lives one at a time. Our public school system has destroyed black lives not in the ones and twos, but in whole generations," he wrote.


"The schools don't teach and our children don't learn. Too many public schools are controlled by teachers unions focused more on the convenience and compensation of adults rather than the education of children who started out far behind. Their failures don't kill as quickly, but they do kill as surely as a bullet."

The crack house: "Let's go over to the crack house," Carson wrote. "We need to tear it down. Profiting from selling poison to our children and destroying lives must not be the ambition of our children. These monuments to our destruction deserve our active scorn not our silent acceptance."


The entertainment industry: "… that lines its pockets by glamorizing a life where black men are thugs and our women are trash. Let's tell them we plan to start talking with our wallets."

Carson even took shots at both political parties, telling Democrats that "we want the skills to compete not the consolation prize of Section 8 housing, food stamps and a lifetime of government paperwork."


To Republicans, Carson noted: "We need to tell them they have ignored us for too long. They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate and find a different way."

Read more at USA Today.

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