The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Posts Tagged ‘Ben Carson slavery

What a Difference a Day Makes

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Wouldn’t you know it. Dr. Ben Carson endures 24 hours of non-stop abuse from media, Hollywood, and about every Democrat with a verified Twitter account, when the other shoe drops. But this time it drops right on the noggins of all those finger-pointing, name-calling, elites.

Come to find out, in a 2015 speech, President Obama made comments eerily familiar to those of Dr. Carson.

And perhaps, like some of you, these new arrivals might have had some moments of doubt, wondering if they had made a mistake in leaving everything and everyone they ever knew behind…So life in America was not always easy. It wasn’t always easy for new immigrants. Certainly it wasn’t easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily, and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves.

There was discrimination and hardship and poverty. But, like you, they no doubt found inspiration in all those who had come before them. And they were able to muster faith that, here in America, they might build a better life and give their children something more.

The Washington Free Beacon published a side by side video showing both Dr. Carson’s remarks and President Obama’s.

Did any of these folks spring to attack in 2015 when the President compared slaves to immigrants?

 Twitter attacks on Dr. Ben CarsonCelebs attack Ben Carson on Twitter

Don’t expect apologies. Expect them to double down. Expect them to defend a statement made by a black politician with a (D) by his name while excoriating the same statement made by a black politician with an (R) by his name.

Is there really any other difference here?

I’m open to reasoned and civil difference of opinion here, but check your team colors at the door. Look at this example free of the blue or red lenses. Just two men who made a very similar observation. Either what was said was right or wrong. It can’t be right for one and wrong for another.  If we go there, if we actually start to condone that kind of thinking and follow it with action, we are all in big trouble.

Let the honest discussion begin.

Be Careful How You Use the Word – Immigrant

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“That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity,’’ he said. “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters, might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

At first all I’d heard, read, and saw was the ridicule, the disgust, the mockery, and the judgements.  I figured it must be really bad. Dr. Ben Carson, a man I respect because I think he’s just a good decent human-being was being crucified all over the media and social media. This must be it, I thought. His foray into the cesspool of politics has finally come around to bite him and he’s done something really horrible.

Then I read the quote.

I immediately saw what everyone was hysterical about.  He used the word “immigrants” where he shouldn’t have used that word. Not in today’s social/political climate, anyway. But I didn’t immediately interpret it as a slight toward the slaves who were brought over here or Black History in America. Some will say, “that’s because you’re white.” OK, but I still know the history and I can still read and understand words put in phrases and this one didn’t strike me as more egregious than Obama’s gaffe when he said he’d visited all 57 states. The Right took that into Islamic conspiracy world but the major media was quick to dispel it and help calm the waters. Not so this time.

It’s noteworthy, I believe, to show that nowhere can I find a definition of the word immigrant or immigration or migrate that specifies volunteerism. In other words, according to the dictionary, that volume which defines our use of words, an immigrant is simply someone “who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.” It doesn’t specify whether they came by choice or not. But that can be termed splitting hairs. OK, fine.

A decade or more ago, maybe 20 years now, his comment wouldn’t have garnered much attention if any. The word – immigrant – didn’t hold the same political meaning or have the same emotion attached to it in the common lexicon like it does today.

In my observation, however, there seems to be a double standard when it comes to gaffes by public figures, especially politicians. Everyone makes dumbass comments now and then, but some seem to be immune from the kind of public scrutiny, mockery, or humiliation or the magnitude being extended in this case.

Does the Right mock the Left when they make similar gaffes in public? Yes, certainly, but the Right doesn’t have CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, The New York Times, or Saturday Night Live to ingrain it into our psyche for all time over a week-long news cycle.

So this past week, armed with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, led by celebrities and politicians alike,Anger at Ben Carson comments on slavery and immigration and with the help of the mainstream media, an avalanche of criticism, denigration, and even outright hate, has rained down on Dr. Carson.  I don’t have a problem with fair-minded criticism, but the majority of what I’ve read and heard can’t be defined as such.  It’s just gleeful contempt for a man most of them dislike for mainly one reason, I believe…

He’s black and he’s not a Democrat.

So, point your finger if you must. Claim that Dr. Carson doesn’t know the history of his own people if that gives you a superior tingle. Call him the most horrible person on earth because he dared compare slaves to immigrants, but consider how silly, petty, and insignificant it really is. No one ends up better for it. No one.

I’m certain Dr. Carson knows his history well. The intent of his comment was to commend those who came before him and to suggest even they, in their horrible and dire circumstance must have hoped for a better future for their posterity. His poor choice of words to describe their circumstance, the context of his speech, and the turbulent political atmosphere in which he spoke them, led to this ridiculous firestorm of anger and righteous indignation. We’ve got to get better than this.

The Left has long held claim to a monopoly on compassion and tolerance. Where is the application of this claim? Hint: It can’t be selectively applied.

So we add another word to the “words to use cautiously in public if at all” list.

Or what if we discussed why the word choice was poor, allowed the offender a mea culpa, forgave and moved on?

 

Written by DCL

March 7, 2017 at 4:57 pm