In a new USA Today op-ed, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson slammed some of the tactics used by the Black Lives Matter movement as “lunacy,” while singling out a host of liberal institutions which he says are the black community’s “real sources of our hopelessness.”
Carson singled out the entertainment industry — and the new hit movie “Straight Outta Compton” in particular — as one such institution.
“The entertainment industry…lines its pockets by glamorizing a life where black men are thugs and our women are trash,” Carson writes.
“It is time for them to pick on someone else because we have had enough.”
“Demeaning women is not art, and it shouldn’t be profitable. Neither is glorifying violence and equating prison time with authenticity. Straight Out of Compton, #1 in movie theaters, is just the latest example. You only have to watch the trailers.”
The movie tells the story of the formation of the Los Angeles-based rap group, N.W.A. The group, whose most popular song is entitled, “Fuck the Police,” was started with drug money from one of its members, Eazy-E.
Addressing policing, which has been Black Lives Matter’s main area of focus, Carson acknowledges that the activists are right “that racial policing issues exist and some rotten policemen took actions that killed innocent people.”
“Those actions were inexcusable and they should be prosecuted to deter such acts in the future,” Carson says, while adding that “unjust treatment from police did not fill our inner cities with people who face growing hopelessness.”
In the op-ed, Carson calls out Black Lives Matter for its recent focus Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
“There are many things to be angry about when you are consumed by hopelessness. Bernie Sanders isn’t one of them,” Carson writes.
Earlier this month members of the Black Lives Matter branch in Seattle disrupted a Sanders campaign event, forcing him off stage. The incident caused disruption within progressive circles and within the Black Lives Matter movement itself. Sanders is considered the most progressive candidate running for office.
Activists from other Black Lives Matters chapters have disrupted other events, including last month’s Netroots Nation, where Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley were presenting.
Carson, who describes the neighborhood of his childhood as one where “most Americans were told to never drive through,” pointed to his mother who helped protect him and his brother from falling victim to street crime.
“I can tell you she wasn’t worried about Socialist senators from tiny rural states,” Carson writes. “‘BlackLivesmatter’ could learn from her to focus on the real sources of our hopelessness.”
Carson calls on the protesters to march on local boards of education, city hall, the entertainment industry, crack houses, Washington D.C. and both the Democratic and Republican parties.
“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,” Carson says, asserting that public schools are controlled by teachers unions which focus more on helping teachers rather than teaching children.
He also calls for protests against city hall to help fight against crime and laments the federal government’s “War on Poverty,” saying that the $19 trillion spent on programs to fight poverty “have been a great American failure.”
Of the Democratic party, Carson writes: “Let’s tell them, we don’t want to be clothed, fed and housed. We want honor and dignity.”
He also accuses the Republican party of ignoring blacks for too long.
“They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate and find a different way.”