Neurosurgeon Ben Carson challenged civil rights activist Jesse Jackson to defend his contention that the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson was a racist “state execution,” declaring that the 18-year-old’s death has “nothing to do with race.”
Carson and Jackson appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to discuss the ongoing dissatisfaction within the black community over the death of Brown, which many see as a symptom of systematic discrimination against blacks — particularly by white police officers.
“It’s a pattern,” Jackson contended. “Whether it was the killing of Trayvon Martin, the killer walked away free, the killing of Diallo in New York, shot 41 times by police, they walked away free. The Oscar Grant case in Oakland, or the case of Rodney King in L.A.”
“At some point, we require and need to have a sense of justice,” he continued. “All we do know about Mike Brown is, really, he was shot unarmed six times.”
Carson pushed back against Jackson’s portrayal. “If you take race out of the issue altogether,” he explained, “and you take a group of young men and you raise them with no respect for authority, not learning to take on personal responsibility, having easy access to drugs and alcohol, they’re very likely to end up as victims of violence and incarceration. Has nothing to do with race.”
But Jackson remained defiant, even after host Chris Wallace confronted him with statistics showing 91 percent of black murder victims are killed by other blacks, not white police officers.
“It does have a race dimension,” he contended. “It seems to me that when blacks kill whites — which is rare — it’s swift justice. When whites kill blacks, it’s rebellion. When it’s black on black it’s a struggle that shows a kind of permissiveness — guns in, drugs in, jobs out.”
“Racial disparity, and alienation and mistrust, are very combustible factors,” Jackson concluded.