The Only Black Candidate in the 2016 Presidential Race Finds #BlackLivesMatter "Silly"

The Only Black Candidate in the 2016 Presidential Race Finds #BlackLivesMatter "Silly"
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The 2016 presidential race's only declared black candidate thinks that #BlackLivesMatter is "silly" and emblematic of why the United States "can't make any progress as a society."

Republican candidate and famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson told ThinkProgress this week that "we need to talk about what the real issues are and not get caught up in silliness like this matters or that matters."

Speaking at a D.C. rally Tuesday to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding, Carson continued, "Of course all lives matter. I don't want to get into it, it's so silly. Black lives are part of all lives, right?"

"When we're talking about a culture of life, then we ought to be talking about a culture of life and not allow ourselves to get caught up in all the divisive rhetoric and terminology and political correctness. It's the reason we can't make any progress as a society," he added.

In a recent conference held by the National Urban League, three major Democratic candidates (Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley) all invoked #BlackLivesMatter during their speeches. Carson and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush discussed race, but steered far clear of endorsing the movement. According to the Washington Post, Carson described a racist incident from his past and told the audience, "It's not the skin and the hair that makes them who they are — it's the brain that makes them who they are."

Polling sees Carson tied for fifth place among Republican candidates, but with the lowest national name recognition of any candidate likely to appear in the upcoming GOP debates, writes The Hill's Jonathan Easley. Since headlines in 2013 surrounding remarks he made comparing Obamacare to slavery, Carson has tended to tone down his rhetoric.

As Right Wing Watch previously reported, Carson also spoke on Friday at an anti-abortion conference organized by the World Congress of Families, "a far-right organization that has faced scrutiny for its role in pushing extreme anti-LGBT laws in Russia and around the world." The event, titled "All Lives Matter," used the rhetoric of the #BlackLivesMatter movement to rail against abortion and black-on-black crime.

h/t ThinkProgress

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Charlie Gard’s parents say they want to take their son home to die

The parents are returning to court to fight for their right to take their son home.

Vatican shuts off historic fountains in the midst of devastating drought

Officials say it's the first time they can recall ever shutting off the Vatican's fountains.

The last baby orca to be born at SeaWorld dies after serious health issues

Kyara was the last baby orca to be born into SeaWorld's controversial breeding program.

President Donald Trump turns Boy Scout Jamboree into campaign rally

The president discussed health care, Hillary Clinton, Obama, big yachts and more to 40,000 Boy Scouts and volunteers

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Charlie Gard’s parents say they want to take their son home to die

The parents are returning to court to fight for their right to take their son home.

Vatican shuts off historic fountains in the midst of devastating drought

Officials say it's the first time they can recall ever shutting off the Vatican's fountains.

The last baby orca to be born at SeaWorld dies after serious health issues

Kyara was the last baby orca to be born into SeaWorld's controversial breeding program.

President Donald Trump turns Boy Scout Jamboree into campaign rally

The president discussed health care, Hillary Clinton, Obama, big yachts and more to 40,000 Boy Scouts and volunteers

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.