10 Things Every Black American Should Know About Dr. Ben Carson Before Forming Any Opinion of Him - FACTOIDS
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10 Things Every Black American Should Know About Dr. Ben Carson Before Forming Any Opinion of Him

Dr. Ben Carson catapulted onto the national scene after providing an alternative to Obamacare at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, with President Obama looking on only a few feet away.

But it’s the story of where Carson came from and how he ended up where he is that is so captivating to many. Because his story is so transcending and uplifting, here are ten reasons why black Americans should give the presumed GOP presidential candidate a fair chance before judging him along partisan lines:

#1. Ben Carson came from nothing.


He grew up poor in Detroit and was raised by an uneducated single mother who pushed him to read by taking him to the library, learning the value of education early on. From the Blaze:

“One of the things that I used to do is, I used to love to memorize things. I memorized poems, memorized Bible verses,” he said.  “And other people didn’t know those things, and it began to make me feel that there was something special about me, and that I could learn things.”

#2. Carson believes he has affirmative action to thank for being accepted into Yale.

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 11.46.28 AM
He once stated:

“In my mind, I was pretty hot stuff. Only after I got to Yale and became cognizant of my classmates’ many accomplishments did I realize that the admissions committee had taken a substantial risk on me and that I had been extended special consideration.”

#3. Carson took advantage of the opportunity and was accepted into medical school.

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From Townhall:

“I was able to adjust to the academic rigors necessary to qualify for medical school admission at the University of Michigan. Medical school was transformative, and I was subsequently accepted into the selective neurosurgical residency at Johns Hopkins. By that time, no special considerations were expected or needed.”

#4. Carson played a role in the first successful operation of the removal of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head at birth in 1987.

From the NY Times:

“Dr. Carson said it was too early to predict how close to normal the boys would be when their recovery is complete, adding that a prognosis is complicated by their age. Many neurological tests require patients who are able to understand verbal instructions, he said.
*But he said brain scans have indicated there was no major visible damage to the frontal lobes of their brains, which are primarily responsible for mental functions.”

#5. Carson, along with his spouse Candy, started the Carson Scholars Fund (CSF).

In 1994, the CSF was created to award those in grades 4-11 who exemplified academic excellence and displayed humanitarian efforts in their communities. Because education is so important, the CSF serves as a conduit to those who are vying for the American dream to become a reality.

#6. There is a movie about Ben Carson.

How many of us can say there’s a movie depicting our lives? That’s pretty fascinating in itself.

#7. Carson is a cancer survivor.

In the midst of performing his surgical duties, Carson was informed that he had prostate cancer.
From ABC News:

“I have the ability to put things out of my mind, so I just put it out of my mind and finished the operation,” said Carson, 51. “But certainly, you know, that evening it did weigh heavily upon me as I began to realize that wow, I have cancer. The thing that bothered me was the fact that I would be leaving so many people behind.”

#8. Carson received the 2006 NAACP Spingarn Medal.

The NAACP awarded Carson its highest honor for his contributions to society and his involvement in academia and education.

#9. Carson was named “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress.

carson headshot
In 2001, the Library of Congress recognized Dr. Carson for his contributions to life. He joins Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Tiger Woods and many others in this elite group.

#10. Carson was a recipient of the 2008 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor given on behalf of the President of the United States.
From President George W. Bush:

“The story of our first recipient begins in a poor neighborhood in the heart of Detroit. This was an environment where many young people lost themselves to poverty and crime and violence. For a time, young Ben Carson was headed down that same path. Yet through his reliance on faith and family, he turned his life into a sharply different direction.”

As compelling as his journey has been, the bigger question looming is: Would it resonate among the African-American community? As a presidential candidate Carson would have to reach into uncharted territory. He would have to appeal to a culture that has voted primarily Democratic in elections.

As someone who grew up as part of the black community, it is apparent to me that many of its member suffer mightily from a lack of a father figure and the breakdown of the traditional family unit – and many people are looking for substance over rhetoric.

While Carson obviously would need to have his message transcend the color of his skin, he would also need to connect with blacks who are reluctant to identify themselves with the Republican base.

Could this happen? It’s possible. But it wouldn’t come easy. If he runs for president, Carson, who has never held political office before, would have to convince Americans of all races that his message is not only timely, but that he would surround himself with a core of people who are smart and equipped to tackle today’s most pressing issues.

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