By Freddie Allen (NNPA News Wire National News Editor)
Former Republican presidential nominee and famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson said that he trusts Donald Trump to address systemic racial disparities affecting the Black people, if the billionaire businessman wins the presidential election in November.
In an exclusive interview with the NNPA News Wire following Trump’s double-digit loss to Senator Ted Cruz in the Republican primary in Wisconsin, Carson discussed a wide range of issues including the 2016 elections, health care and reparations for the myriad injustices that have plagued the Black community.
Carson said that he endorsed the Republican frontrunner, when he recognized that the political establishment was making a concerted effort to stop Trump’s campaign. To Carson, Trump is more than the boisterous, neophyte politician that draws thousands to his rallies with his “Make America Great Again” rhetoric.
“I’ve had a chance to talk to him, in depth, and he is one persona on television and a very different persona in real life,” said Carson. “And all you have to do is talk to his employees, he’s got thousands of them. It’s very hard to find anybody that has anything bad to say about him. They love him.”
Carson also attributed the political establishment, which he described as “primarily the Democrats, but many of the Republicans, too,” with lies about his campaign that contributed to his fall in the polls and eventual exit from the race.
“This whole election started out being about the people and the will of the people, but I saw the political establishment flexing its muscle,” and ignoring the will of the people, said Carson, adding that the ruling class will do anything to maintain control.
Despite his historic run for the presidency of the United States and raising more than $57 million in campaign contributions during the 2016 election cycle, according to TIME magazine, Carson criticized the Republican National Committee for its lackluster efforts in reaching out to the Black community and for not spending more money advertising in Black media to support those efforts.
“More recently, the Republican party has neglected the African American community,” said Carson. “It’s very important that we reverse that, because if you look at what has happened to the African American community over the last few decades, it hasn’t been good.”
When asked whether he’d consider the vice presidency or seat in the president’s cabinet if offered, Carson said that he would prefer to maintain his independence, because he already has a platform to reach all types of groups around the country.
The former presidential candidate said that when he compared the Affordable Care Act to slavery during the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast it was “an unfortunate choice of words that was really at a time that I was a neophyte on the political scene and didn’t recognize that the words that you use can keep people from hearing your message,” said Carson.
Carson offered that health care is a responsibility for a compassionate society, which we are, but not necessarily a right, for everybody.
Carson suggested a health care strategy involving health empowerment accounts (HEA), which are “like health savings accounts without the bureaucrats.” Carson’s version of HEAs would allow customers to transfer funds between the accounts of family members for medical care and buy catastrophic plans across state lines.
“[Health empowerment accounts] give you enormous flexibility to cover the vast majority of things that are going to come up,” said Carson, adding that the costs associated with catastrophic health care would drop dramatically.
HSAs require customers to also be enrolled in high deductible health plans, and HEAs would need a much-improved economy to work as national health care strategy.
Carson said that the Black press is enormously important, because a lot of the mainstream media doesn’t address the issues that are important in the Black community and they don’t highlight the wonderful things that are going on too.
“You certainly wouldn’t know about some of the accomplishments of people in the Black community,” if the Black press didn’t exist, said Carson. “It is amazingly important and I would encourage everybody to expand those efforts specifically to talk about,” high achievers in the Black community.
Carson continued: “So, often in the past the accomplishments of Black people have been confiscated and we need all of the examples we can get for our young people, so that they understand that they don’t have to play second fiddle to anybody.”
The Detroit native, who survived abject poverty as a child and grew up to become a world-renowned neurosurgeon, said that he supports creating targeted programs for Blacks and others that would increase economic and social equity.
“That’s an area where a lot of productive discussions can be made,” said Carson. “The big problem is that a lot of people hear a word [like reparations] an their antennae go up and they go to their respective corners and start hurling barbs at each other, when in fact if they were to sit down and talk about [the issues] they could probably come to some pretty reasonable solutions.”
Ultimately, Carson said that in order for Black people to improve their current conditions, they have to recognize that they have to do it themselves.
“The help is not going to come from somewhere else, because other people have their own agenda and we’re just an afterthought,” said Carson.
Carson continued: “We have to do it ourselves and we have to understand that our strength in the past has been our faith and our families and if we can grab those things again, we will be blessed and we will ascend and I have no doubt about that.”