Ben Carson is a clown. The conservative presidential hopeful has a documented history of blurting out nonsensical and offensive gibberish. I guess that makes him a perfect contender for public office. So when the GOP’s favorite “foot-in-your-mouth” neurosurgeon brought up Hip Hop culture in a recent interview, he was bound to say some really dumb shit.
Speaking to WBLS-FM hosts Bob Pickett and Bob Slade, Carson said, “We need to reestablish faith in our communities and the values and principles that got us through slavery, that got us through Jim Crow, and segregation, and all kinds of horrible things that were heaped upon us. Why were we able to get through those? Because of our faith, because of our family, because of our values, and as we allow the hip-hop community to destroy those things for us, and as we grasp onto what’s politically correct and not what is correct, we continue to deteriorate.”
When challenged by the hosts, Carson attempted to clarify his position with an even more ridiculous response. “When I talk about the hip-hop community, I’m talking about the aspect of modern society that pretty much dismisses anything that has to do with Jesus Christ.”
So Hip Hop is the anti-Christ now?
Anyone who follows my work knows that I’m critical of mainstream rap’s influence on society in general and Black youth in particular. And I certainly don’t expect Carson to know the difference between commercial rap and Hip Hop culture. I would simply expect him to stay away from a subject he knows nothing about. But that’s a lot to ask from someone who’s known for the following pearls of wisdom.
“I think most people when they finish that course, they’d be ready to go sign up for ISIS.”
* Carson giving his opinion on what may happen to American students who learn about civil disobedience in their AP History class.
“And why did evolution divert in so many directions–birds, fish, elephants, apes, humans–if there is some force evolving to the maximum? Why isn’t everything a human–a superior human?”
* Carson speaking about the myth of evolution to The Adventist Review.
“If there were a container of contaminated urine, and somehow it managed to find its way to someplace, a lot of damage could be done. Someone comes up to a lab worker. He knows he’s got the urine. ‘How would you like to have a million dollars?’ … Such things have been known to happen.”
* Carson describing how terrorists could get their hands on Ebola-tainted urine and turn it into a biological weapon.
Get the picture?
Carson isn’t the first to blame Hip Hop for every social ill. Just like his predecessors, he labels “the hip-hop community”, which in his case seems to include pop culture, a socially destructive force, but never once mentions the billion-dollar industry that promotes it. While we can all agree that pop culture’s influence has a dark side, in Carson’s mind, Black entertainers seem to be the cause of what he believes to be the deterioration of faith, family and values in the Black community. Record companies, radio stations and media powerhouses like Viacom, General Electric, News-Corp, Time Warner, CBS and Disney are magically non-existent in this equation.
Following the footsteps of his spirit guides O’Reilly and Limbaugh, Carson overlooks reality, paints Hip Hop (code word for Black) as the bogey man, and absolves the white supremacist power structure of any accountability…all because, in standard conservative parlance, he lifted himself up from his bootstraps and kissed enough white ass to have a shot at the big house. He’s the type of asshole who’d blame the victim of rape for dressing “inappropriately” while ignoring the monster who committed the crime. For people like Carson, challenging the very system that granted him a seat at the big boy’s table is tantamount to biting the hand that feeds him…and potentially crushing his hopes of becoming the next president of the United States.
But worry not. 2016 won’t be Carson’s year. His only purpose on this political chessboard is to help Tea Partiers, conservatives, Republicans and Liberal defectors clear their consciences by having a “Black friend” they can use as a prop in case someone were to ever call them racist for justifying the actions of the Darren Wilsons and George Zimmermans of the world.
But what do I know? Hip Hop destroyed my faith and values a long time ago.
Sebastien Elkouby is a creative consultant, Hip Hop culture historian, writer, award-winning educator and co-host of Take No Prisoners Radio. For more info, go to SebIsHipHop.com or contact him at [email protected] Find him on Twitter at SebIsHipHop.