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Posted under: Politics News Race & Identity

Dr. Ben Carson says President Obama hasn't faced real racism because "he was raised white"

In an interview with Politico's podcast Off Message Mr. Gifted Hands, Dr. Ben Carson wanted to inform people that his struggle as a Black man in America was something that president Barack Obama could never truly identify with. He told his host that he, "was proud that we broke the color barrier when he was elected, but … he didn’t grow up like I grew up." Taking no time to piggy back this narrative, United States Republican Representative in California's 49th district, Darrell Issa added that Dr. Carson is "technically correct" and he also believes that president Barack Obama was a raised as a white man, whatever that actually means.
Photo: Giphy
Photo: Giphy
Photo: Giphy Carson grew up in 1960s Detroit in a family that lived below the poverty line. He points to the things he went through in that time of his life as markers of the true Black experience and uses them as reasons to make the argument that president Barack Obama has no circumstances in his past that can compare. Dr. Carson said that, "Many of his formative years were spent in Indonesia. So, for him to, you know, claim that, you know, he identifies with the experience of black Americans, I think, is a bit of a stretch.” Dr. Ben Carson also made a point to make it clear that he believes that many of the issues we as a people collectively believe are about race are not. He said that he's "had a chance to see what real racism is," and does not feel that what is labeled as racism now would be considered the same thing when he grew up. In fact, he would posit that the real face of the problem, instances like the water crisis in Flint, are instigated by classism. When asked about the issue specifically he said, "If that were going on in an affluent black community, it would have not gone on...A lot of things that people classify as racism is classism...if people of a certain race happen to fall into a lower class, then they get the brunt of it." He also had some very interesting things to say about the history of recorded racism within the Republican party like, "“Maybe I’m just very nonobservant. You know, I don’t go around looking for things, and you have to understand that whatever you think is going on is probably what you’re going to see." To drive his point home even further, he used an allegory involving a hypothetical mass murderer to say that it really all depends on the information you chose to acknowledge. Things are what you believe they are, because that's how the world works. Carson ended the interview with some great advice on how to cope with the unpleasantry of a "very obnoxious person" that you have to work with, though. "I just say, ‘That used to be a cute little baby. I wonder what happened to them.’”
Photo: Tumblr
Photo: Tumblr
Photo: Tumblr

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