Sunday, October 13, 2013

Note to Ben Carson: Don't talk about slavery

Ben Carson must be practicing surgery on his own brain.  It’s the only thing to excuse his recent remarks about Obamacare.

"It’s the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery," Carson, who retired from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, said at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. "It is slavery, in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government. It was never about healthcare. It was about control.”

Did I hear a reference to Master beating slaves in Carson’s tone? Did he compare Obama to Lincoln for having the audacity to let God’s people go?

It’s almost always wounding when a person uses slavery to illustrate a contemporary affliction. It’s even worse when a black man pulls that trick from his conservative bag of foolishness. I won’t blame Carson for spending most of his time reading books on the human anatomy.  God knows he’s earned respect for his work as a neurosurgeon. All props to the dude for separating conjoined twins joined at the head.

Everyone has their weakness. It’s best to stay in your lane. In other words, Carson gets F’s in American History and street credibility. 

He’s no black role model. I say that not because of his abhorrence of Obamacare. Carson isn’t the only black person grappling to find the merit of the plan pushed by the nation’s first black President. He has every right to align with conservatives to defend an agenda that best serves his personal goals.  Do you Bo, but, for God’s sake, and out of respect of OUR ancestors, please don’t minimize the impact of slavery by comparing it to Obamacare.

You get no stupidity pass when it comes to this. One has to ask, is becoming the darling of the conservative wing of the Republican Party worth the forfeiture of the black boys and girls who viewed you as a role model?  Are the standing ovations worth losing the tag of great blacks in American history? Welcome to the bench with Clarence Thomas and others who sold their soul for white affirmation.

Even more disconcerting are the underlying implications related to what Carson said.

"It is slavery, in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government. It was never about healthcare. It was about control.”

So, Obama has forced Americans to become subservient to the government.  Obama is the anti-Lincoln who implemented a policy that has subjugated not only blacks, but every citizen of this country.  A black man did that.  Obama is our Master, and all of us are his slaves.

Carson’s argument serves as the most forceful claim that we are living in a post-race society.  Carson has pushed a button held by those fearing the aftermath of a black President – slavery has been reversed.  It took a black man to say it. The fight against Obamacare is about control, but not the type of domination alleged on the surface of Carson’s statement.

The teabaggers fear being controlled by a black man.

Master Obama is coercing them to make bricks out of straw. Run to the North Star where freedom lives.  Run fast now. Massah Bama got a big whip.  We gonna be free. We gotta fight, but they working on our liberation.

Sorry Uncle Ben, you can’t play with those emotions.  This is not a post-race society.  The flame of hate still burns Uncle Ben.

So, get on the bench with Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain.  It’s going to be a long time before you get to play with black folks.


  1. You are right to correct Dr. Carson on his hyperbolic use of slavery in relation to Obamacare, even though you twice repeated his limiting statement that by slavery he meant that Obamacare is another step in making us subservient to government. After all, there is the chattel form of slavery, then there is "submission to a dominating influence" definition that you and other black leaders have used from time to time in regards to white people. Carson is telling you that government itself can't always be allowed to be a dominating influence of your life because what it confers it can also take away. Or force you into dependency.

    You accuse Carson of "being out of his wheelhouse" in his concerns over Obamacare. Actually, it's physicians and other health care providers that know far more than you exactly what will change with the new health system. And it isn't money they're worried about. It's a system that allows government to be privy to your personal health data and to make decisions on your behalf that you might not have made. That leaves distribution of health system funds up to lobbyists for the disease or group of the month rather than allowing patients in on the decision making. It's a system that mandates more benefits and alternative (scientifically unproven) forms of health care at the same time it says it will "save us money." I can go on and even get more specific, but, as you said, there are many people grappling with the merits (or lack of) Obamacare.

    It's understandable that persons like yourself with no job and no health care benefits look toward the benefits that Obamacare may bring. And I'm glad those benefits will bring you some peace of mind. Understand, however, that statistics on the uninsured indicate 1/3 are like you, 1/3 are younger people who purposely choose not to pay for health insurance, and 1/3 are illegal immigrants (who won't be covered under Obamacare anyway). Also understand, that the 85% of the citizenry that has access to health insurance will be harmed by changes mandated in the law. So, when the Congress and the unions ask to be exempt, understand why.

    So, reasonable people can disagree about the merits of Obamacare.

    It's your other comments about Ben Carson that are unfortunate. Seems he's not black enough and doesn't have the street credibility you desire. You've been down this road before in your blog. Anyone who isn't poor, dislikes rap, refuses to dress "black," or doesn't believe the government owes them a living cannot possibly be black. Or express concern for African Americans. So, Carson joins Condoleeza Rice, Thomas Sowell, Bill Cosby, Colin Powell, etc., as persons perhaps allowed to call themselves "people of color" but certainly can't expect to speak on the behalf of black people. To say nothing of the white populace that tries to effect equitable conditions for blacks. At least the latter group doesn't claim to be black. Except for Eminem.

    And none of this has to do with Obama's skin color. It has to do with the path he thinks the country should follow. Not all conservatives, or even those in the Tea Party (you purposely use the "teabagger" term knowing it has a sexual connotation other than politics) are all racists. Perhaps it makes it easier for you to hate anyone disagreeing with Obama because to do so means they must be racist. And we all hate racists. Or assume they fear a black man as president (jeez, white people elected him twice, give me a break). Any president that wants to subjugate its population into dependency, however, can fairly be compared to a plantation owner's beneficent policies on behalf of those who clearly could not survive without him/her. And, we come full circle to Carson's warning. He's trying to speak on your behalf, but you won't listen because he's not black enough. Only Al Sharpton will do, apparently.

  2. Dear Mr./Ms. Anonymous (If that is your real name),

    Thanks so very much for setting us po’ colored folks straight about the ills of an Obama-Government-Controlled Reality. We’se never had a president in the history of the United States insert any kind of program that controlled our citizenry to such significant and catastrophic degree. Up to this point our ownership and control was procured and managed by a benevolent capitalist agenda that really, deep down, deep-deep down, has our best interest at heart. The databases of information that they secretly (or not so secretly possess) on our spending habits and predilections are innocuous tools used to learn how to best serve us, for a small, market-driven fee.

    Also, thank you for clearing up the fallacy about All Tea Party members being racists. This explanation allows me to just ignore the images of your comrades on the Capitol steps waving a confederate flag and spouting innocent and harmless references to the Quran and bowing down to Allah. These are merely inconsequential props and displays that denote their desire to return to a simpler time, when we colored folks knew our proper place. On a side note: your knowledge of sexual euphemisms is quite impressive.

    Thanks for pointing out the differences between the unique institution of slavery in the US and the chattel systems of other cultures. Unfortunately, that definition never made a strong presence on American soil or history. One can only fantasize on how life would be today if only our special unique brand of servitude was really an exercise of a humane form a debt repayment instead of the grossly dehumanized exchange of flesh for the production of goods.

    Thanks for pointing out that if we just leave the decisions about health care, and the management of the personal data to measure its costs, to those who are actually in this industry, that they will dictate the most effective service for us all. One can only guess how ill-informed and ill-equipped the team of advisors of the doctors, administrators, economist, insurance industry advisors, and nefarious politicians where when they haphazardly developed the constructs of THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT seemingly out of the annals of their rectum-encased thoughts. These individuals must have achieved their education and experiential knowledge from inferior schools and elusive realities.

    I also want to thank people like you, for pointing out how my un-insurability will drain the pockets of the remaining 85%. Because the cost of the unpaid use of emergency room care for minor health conditions, and the drain of unpaid medical bills for exorbitant expenses once policies have reached their life-time limit with the added financial cost of bankruptcy, as a result, just pales in comparison.

    Not to mention the humanity factor. Why should we care about those who were unfortunate enough to get sick before signing up for insurance? We are a survival of the fitness utopian society. No room for compassion and empathy here.

    And, finally, thank you for clearing up what it means to possess black respectability. If it wasn’t for good people like you, I would not know how to think.

  3. I surely hope "Anonymous" can recognize "sarcasm" when he/she reads it. Thanks for your insigtful reply Deborah Dalton. But methinks "Anonymous" needs the direct approach. However, I have decided not to "waste my time." You know, "where ignorance is bliss. . -" --- you know the rest. Anyone else out there so inclined to "educate" dear "Anonymous", please go on and do so. "Anonymous'" statements reeks for a response!

  4. Anonymous recognizes sarcasm. She also recognizes bias and assumptions in the thoughts expressed by Ms. Dalton. Let's hope we might learn from one another.

    First, I'm neither a Republican nor Tea Party enthusiast, but a Democrat who agrees those organizations have factions not only composed of crazies, racists, and science deniers, but also people who have serious, valid concerns about what the role of government should be. The latter have no fear of "being controlled by a black man," just a Libertarian fear of ANY person who wants to foster dependency on the government. And they would cite the same reasons given by Ms. Dalton when she describes past government forms of control by a "benevolent capitalist" agenda.

    But, if you want to bring up the crazies of conservatism as proof that every conservative must have the same characteristics, then you commit an error of logic. Should all whites judge blacks by the famous YouTube videos of the Obamaphone woman and similar stereotypes?

    I'm of mixed race, as most of us are today, but don't believe that any skin color or race requires a monolithic view. It was like in the old days of feminism, when people asked, "What do women want," and we wanted to answer, "Which women are you talking about?" When Carl indicates Ben Carson has no "street cred" (ie.- not monolithically “black” enough), it offends me. Carson, like so many other successful African Americans, is expressing a point of view that opposes both the mantle of perpetual victimhood and the class of dependency on government. He believes both to be destructive. For both Carl and Ms. Dalton to then use incorrect metaphors and examples to discredit Carson as a simpering Uncle Tom, only shows bias and weak critical thinking. Just because you don't agree with his views doesn't immediately brand him as a white puppet or wannabe.

    Ms. Dalton sarcastically attributes my comments on Obamacare as being uncaring and inhumane. Let me be clearer. I want a BETTER law to provide the uninsured access to quality medical care and not depend on emergency rooms. I want those with pre-existing health conditions to be insured, but don't want them to game the system by only signing up after their unfortunate diagnosis occurs (selection bias). Unfortunately, the Affordable Health Care Act exacts a price on our privacy, independence, job availability, and economy without making care more affordable. In Massachusetts, where the idea originated years ago, there are still a significant number of uninsured persons. This space isn't large enough to allow a full discussion of the subject, but just Google "problems with Obamacare" to understand why this new Act is not as simple as you believe. Ms. Dalton points out that I must think the administration's "team of advisors of doctors, administrators, economists, insurance company advisors, etc." as incompetent in writing the law. She is ignorant in not knowing that no such team ever existed nor was allowed when the law was initially written. And, it is exactly people in ALL of those fields, including former supporters of the law, who now decry the regulations and systems that have surfaced since the Obamacare was initiated. Unintended consequences abound.

    Ben Carson understands, as a physician, that Obamacare, despite its good superficil motives, will not be successful and will exact a huge price from us all. Carson, as a black man, also believes that this legislation will further foster a cult of dependency that ultimately dulls self-actualization of minority communities. Bread and circuses. So, either consider his points or simply disagree. But don't label him an Uncle Tom or white puppet just to make an ad hominem attack on someone who disagrees with you.

    Okay, Marileeza. Tell this “ignorant” black woman why Ben Carson is wrong.

  5. You are correct.

    Race does not matter.

    You have proved that point sufficiently.

    Ignorant, I am not.

    Misinformed, you are.

    Because you are still hiding behind the shield of anonymity, with, your mixed-anonymous self, there is a nice warm space for you also, on the bench.

  6. Oh, Yoda, if you would only read what is written.

    No one said race does not matter, just that people of the same race can have differing views.

    And, again, you failed to indicate where I was misinformed. How can I learn if you don't tell me? The Affordable Health Care Act means well, but is seriously flawed. And you WERE wrong when you stated Obama had this long team of experienced health care advisors assist in the writing of the bill. Nancy Pelosi's team wrote the legislation with scant input from people actually delivering care. They said this publicly. But, I feel that further discussion with you will prove futile. As Marileeza said, "ignorance is bliss." If you won't do the research homework now, just follow the news over the next two years and then tell me this legislation didn't cause unintended consequences. And that includes unintended consequences for the poor the bill was supposed to help.

    Yes, anonymity prevails. The last time I signed my name resulted in threatening phone calls throughout the night, a rock through my front window, and, ultimately, someone brandishing a gun in my direction. Seems like a portion of the black community would rather we all think in lockstep and seriously put us back in line if we deviate from their view that government always acts in their best long term interests by dispensing gifts.

  7. The intent of this post is not to deny Carson his right to disagree with Obamacare or to enforce a "black think" agenda. It is to stress the limits associated with using slavery to argue a point, and how being black should raise sensitivity related to its usage. That point has been lost by placing emphasis on Obamacare. Doing so moves us further from stressing the error of Carson's actions, and how things would play out if he was white. Comparing any public policy to slavery can't be tolerated.

  8. I agree with the Rev, as noted in the first sentence of my initial response. Carson's use of "slavery" as a metaphor for government induced dependence was hyperbolic, thus diluting his message and promoting emotional negative response.

    Similarly, you were a bit hyperbolic in your comment that Carson meant that Obama was forcing us to become subservient to government. Obama is not forcing us; we are going along willingly. And, Rev, you were the one who indicated Carson had "no street cred," implying a black think agenda. And, you brought up the "teabaggers fear a black man" point. I don't believe the Tea Party fears a black man, despite how that stokes your ego. I don't believe they even think about black men or women. They're so caught up in their own box canyon of limited thought that they don't care about you at all.

    Carson just used Obamacare to make his dependency point, and Ms. Dalton chose to ride that horse into battle. We all agree that the "slavery" metaphor was used incorrectly.