Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson responded to recent incidents of unrest at the University of Missouri and Yale University saying that society is being “too tolerant” in accepting what he called student-activists’ “infantile behavior.”
“This is just raw emotion and people being manipulated…by outside forces who wish to create disturbances,” Carson told Megyn Kelly during an interview on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” on Wednesday.
Protests over alleged racial insensitivity boiled over this week at Mizzou as well as at Yale, Carson’s alma mater. Tim Wolfe resigned as president of the University of Missouri on Monday after coming under fire from activists who accused him of failing to properly respond to several racially-tinged incidents. Activists at Yale were upset over Halloween costumes they deemed offensive.
Carson said that the response from students marks a “very dangerous trend,” one he didn’t experience even during his time at Yale, which spanned the late 1960s and early 1970s.
“When we get to a point where a majority can say ‘I don’t like what you’re doing, that’s offensive, and therefore I have a right to violent toward you or deprive you of rights because I don’t like what you’re doing,’ that really goes against the grain of our constitutional rights,” Carson said.
He was responding to an incident that took place on Mizzou’s campus on Monday. There, students mobbed and harassed journalists who were trying to cover protests on campus. The students sought a “safe space” to celebrate Wolfe’s resignation.
At least two professors helping organize the event — a husband-and-wife named Richard Callahan and Melissa Click — actively blocked the journalists. Click called for “muscle” to prevent one from recording the event while also grabbing his camera.
Kelly also asked Carson about an email sent from University of Missouri administrators on Tuesday informing students to call the police if they hear any offensive language from fellow students.
“What are we doing to tomorrow’s generation?” Kelly asked.
“We’re being a little too tolerant, I guess you might say, accepting infantile behavior,” Carson responded.
“The officials at these places must recognize that and have the moral courage to stand up to it, because if they don’t, it will grow, it will exacerbate the situation, and we will move much further to anarchy than anybody can imagine,” Carson warned.