Ben Carson’s Appalling Claim Some Values Are More Equal Than Others

“They’ve tried to paint me as somebody who is insensitive.”
Ben Carson to Sean Hannity, 10.8.2015

No, Ben Carson, you’ve painted yourself as somebody who is insensitive. And here is how:

On a Wednesday radio interview on Sirius XM, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson turned into Rick Santorum by calling for “traditional, intact values.” According to Carson, not “every lifestyle is exactly of the same value,” and he turned his Santorum-like wrathiness on the “p.c. police.”

We have got to stop paying attention to the ‘p.c. police,’ who say every lifestyle is exactly of the same value. No, it’s not of the same value. It is very clear that intact, traditional families with traditional, intact values do much better in terms of raising children. So let’s stop pretending that everything is of equal value.

I’ll just point out here that this is not what the Constitution says, and leave it at that. Republican opposition to everything the Constitution says outside of the Second and Tenth Amendments is too well attributed to need repetition here.

The Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius is supposed to have said, “poverty is the mother of crime.” Carson, on the other hand, appeals to the same time-worn conservative claims that children born out of wedlock or raised by single parents become criminals.

We need to face the fact that when young girls have babies out of wedlock, most of the time their education ends with that first baby. And those babies are four times as likely to grow up in poverty, end up in the penal system or the welfare system. You know, I’m not making this stuff up. That’s well-documented. That’s a problem.

I’ll just point out here that this is not what actual scientific studies show, and leave it at that. Republican opposition to actual scientific studies is too well attributed to need repetition here.

As it happens, Marcus Aurelius was right, and Ben Carson is wrong. It’s the poverty, not the single mothers that are the problem. For example, in 2012 homicide rates dropped dramatically despite the number of single-parent households remaining the same. As Erin Gloria Ryan wrote at Jezebel that same year, this is “The party of the War Against Facts” we are talking about here.


Far more usefully, we are told at

Starting from the 1970s, studies in the US pointed more and more at the link between unemployment, poverty and crime. After that other connections with income level, time spent at school, quality of neighborhood and education were revealed as well. Fresh research from the UK even indicates that economic cycles may affect variations in property and violent crimes.

But most importantly, what reveals the unmistakable connection between poverty and crime is that they’re both geographically concentrated – in a strikingly consistent way. In other words, where you find poverty is also where you find crime. Of course this doesn’t include “softer” crimes such as corruption which causes massive damage to people’s lives but in a more indirect type of violence.

Time Magazine hit upon the truth in 2012 (emphasis added):

“Marriage limits material hardship, even in less educated and low-income families,” writes Robert Lerman, a senior fellow in labor and social policy at the the Urban Institute. “If more parents were married, remained married and remained in healthy marriages through government initiatives, poverty could be lowered.” And with lower poverty comes lower rates of violent crime.

Yet there is not a single Republican candidate, including Ben Carson, who is willing to do a single thing about the poverty. All they want to do is help their rich benefactors.

Carson, like his fellow presidential candidates, is living in a land of Republican fantasies. He has said that to combat urban violence “we need to be talking about, ‘How do we instill values into people again?’ And those are family and faith.”

He won’t admit that President Obama is a Christian (“he says he is”) or that he is even a black president (Wolf Blitzer could not get him to answer a simple yes/no question yesterday), and he says Black Lives Matter is “silly” and “divisive” and nobody will ever forget his claim that people go into prison straight and come out gay. Amazingly, he has found it possible to cast blame at “the hip-hop community” and not the Republican Party for hurting black folks.

And of course, this fierce defender of traditional values, Ben #IamAChristian Carson, when faced with an armed gunman, told the gunman to terrorize the cashier instead of him.

That’s traditional values for you.

Ben Carson likes to talk about “political correctness going amuck” but the real thing going amuck here is Republicanism and its false facts and invented realities and math that makes Republicans feel better about themselves. That, and a hefty dose of personal cowardice, apparently. But hey, it’s every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost with the traditional values set.

He told Sean Hannity yesterday that in the course of his career he has saved thousands of lives. But the cashier wasn’t going to be one of them.

That’s right: Carson proved you don’t have to be the fastest man in the room, just faster than the cashier.

And yes, Ben Carson, black lives matter, and not just yours. Remember that next time you throw a cashier into the line of fire.

Dr. Carson has shown himself to be appallingly insensitive, and if his values are more equal than ours, we are all in a lot of trouble.

26 Replies to “Ben Carson’s Appalling Claim Some Values Are More Equal Than Others”

  1. This man is a Jackass that walks on two legs. No way in hell should we go from President Obama to this “House Nigger” He would make us the laughing stock of the world!!!!!!!!!

  2. The eternal problem with espousing support for “Family Values” has always been …
    Whose family?
    Whose values?

  3. Appallingly insensitive and verging on the sociopathic. He may have been a brilliant surgeon (and why did he “retire”, I wonder), but he shows no empathy for those not like himself. I know a few 7th Day Adventists who are kind and caring, so we can’t blame his religion.
    Frankly, he comes across as someone who has lost his filters, much the same way many early dementia patients behave.

  4. Carson is constantly pulling answers out of his ass and then claiming he was misquoted. It’s an act Tea Party base loves but nobody else is falling for. He has no chance of becoming President.

  5. What is more insensitive than the statement he made after the Oregon murders? “I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away,”

    In other words, the 2nd Amendment is more important than anybody’s life, no matter how many are killed because of it.

    Well….maybe except his own.

  6. This man, along with Jindal and Thomas truly thinks he’s white! The comments Carson makes do not come from a man descended from slaves, whose ancestors built this country, literally through blood, sweat and tears,and were dehumanized for white privilege.
    He needs a wake up call, ASAP! A KKK rally should do it. Carson is in denial about his own identity. These remarks should only come from a white male who has had all the privileges, but none of the suffering!

  7. Appalling and insensitive is a requirement for a Conservative, anything else and they lose their TotenKhapf ring.

  8. …waaay back when I was in the Navy, stationed in San Diego, CA., I spent a day at the San Diego Zoo…even back then, a gorgeous place…
    …while touring the Herpetology section, I was talking to one o’ the Zoo-Keepers, and asked him what the most dangerous snake was…he glanced around to see if anybody could overhear and said “Two Legged Rattlesnakes…they don’t sound the alarm until AFTER they strike, and they hunt in packs; all the other Two Legged Rattlesnakes claim it was your own fault you got bit…then they ALL strike, then slither off rattling enthusiastically.”
    {I swear this was true!!!}
    …after that I referred to Republicans as “Two Legged Rattlesnakes”…

  9. Carson is wrong, but not exactly for the reasons you claim. The rate of out-of-wedlock births has decreased over the last 10 years among whites, blacks, and Hispanics. However, when compared state by state, the decrease is much less pronounced in states that don’t teach birth control in schools. In other words, this business of teaching “family values,” like no sex before marriage, and then keeping schools from providing sex education because it would give kids the idea that they can run out and have wild crazy sex, is dead wrong. If you don’t teach about sex in schools, you’re going to have higher teen pregnancy rates.

    In trying to defund places like Planned Parenthood, the right is limiting young women’s access to birth control and instruction in family planning. Again, when information about family planning is limited, there are higher rates of out-of-wedlock births. In other words, as usual, the right isn’t practicing what it preaches. It wants to stop out-of-wedlock birth…

  10. …. births, but it’s going about it the wrong way. It wants to substitute the Bible for science-based (and backed) information. That doesn’t work. Again, compare the states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy and out-of-wedlock (OOW) births: they’re in GOP-run states.

    Finally, the demographics of OOW births (which everyone associates with single-parent families, but, again, that’s not totally correct) are changing. The number of households where the parents cohabit and have children is increasing. The number of older single women who choose to adopt or get pregnant without marriage is also increasing. These women generally have good careers and good incomes, who feel the biological clock ticking, but aren’t interested in getting married.

    And, finally, if the GOP refuses to give the stereotypical girl with 4 kids by 3 fathers any assistance, like pre-K school and SNAP, then, yes, they’re going to struggle to raise these children and will remain in poverty.

  11. Come on, face it that a man and a woman, married are the best for raising children. Single parents have a much higher chance of producing criminals, and homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt, period.

  12. There’s a historical perspective that, the rulers of colonialism used a simple practice to defeat the disenfranchised lower castes—they decimated their family structure. For slaves, this meant breaking up families by selling off children or spouses. Then in later centuries under constitutional government, it meant jailing fathers and male children using false charges, with severe sentences that ruined the non-white families’ prospects.

    Now Conservatives want to ignore history, and say it’s all “their own” fault because they cannot keep their family values intact. The argument is absurd, and fails to address the reality of how in previous generations these families were attacked and destroyed in the name of bigotry and race/political hegemony.

  13. Fact: We are mammals, most powerful endeavor (remember high school mom/dad arguments, 992 total) is to reproduce. Top of the food chain: Us. Bottom feeders of life itself: Republican, dumbass Patriots along with Catfish, Carp, ect.. that flunked life. I’m not a scientist, don’t claim to be. I will admit to having some parts of common sense though. Token, well…uhh…God had a bad day and forgot to issue Token a brain, all those Patriots he was blessing, it slipped by that Saturday before his day off, even though Token attempts tirelessly to use the space between his ears. He’s still a dumb bastard indeed, isn’t aware of the labor used to build the Whitehouse, which he falsely believes is his destiny like Jeb does. And he’s ugly, beady-eyed,looks high, not gay or nunthin’, just another fact frum a real Mericun’. Damn Token, stop trying think already, there’s nothing there. It’s fruitless, you’re not going to Pennsylvania ave. unless you’re helping with renovations or sweepin…

  14. reynardine, I doubt that LeHunt will reply with facts or even an opinion that can be backed up by facts. I’ve read some incredibly clueless, baseless drivel from LeHunt but THAT one above is quite possibly the worst and most insulting to REAL people I’ve ever read. LeHunt is NOT a Liberal by any means.

  15. You have no idea what you’re talking about. You have not met all of the single parents in the country, which makes you incapable of stereotyping and scapegoating them. I raised my daughter alone after her dad and I divorced when she was five. She graduated high school and college with honors and has a good job. And guess what, I did it while being a single black female. According to what you think, this should not have been possible, but it happened. My parents raised me and my siblings with the adage, “It’s not how much money you make that’s important. It’s what you do with it that makes the difference.”

  16. It’s not just about abortion. The anti-choice movement is part of the subversive fight to impose bible-based values on the entire nation.

    The way religious extremists see it, women are subservient to men. Women therefore have no need for reproductive choice, and no right of self-determination.

    They believe women should only have sex with their husbands (when their husbands want it). No premarital or extramarital sex. No consequence-free sex. Just like (some parts of) the bible.

    Under this dogma, women and girls therefore don’t need: STI screenings or treatment; family planning services; HPV vaccinations; comprehensive sex education; contraceptives; abortions, not even in cases of rape, incest, or medical necessity; or the right to donate fetal tissue.

    Religious extremists — Christian, Catholic, Muslim — can all agree with these theocratic precepts.

  17. Most of you so-called liberals are no better than tea baggers. You decide that something is the way you want it to be and stick to it like herpes. I give you facts and you vote them down. On the other hand, you complain about the lack of a father’s presence in black neighborhoods, and try to shove the blame off onto ‘society’ and ‘racism’. You call yourselves liberals, I call you ideologues.

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