As a black conservative, I see a lost opportunity. Carson chose to mollify the worst side of conservatism instead of challenging it.
Carson, whose story of rags to riches, is the quintessential example of what conservatives should be about. If anyone, poor or rich, black or white, is given the right opportunity they can go from the streets of Detroit to the head of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Carson is a rarity – before his failed venture into presidential politics–he had credibility in both the African-American community and with conservatives. As Robert Samuels of the Washington Post put it, his autobiography Gifted Hands was a “rite of passage” with some African-Americans, but recently many African-American community leaders stopped promoting his book.
Imagine if Carson had focused on promoting conservatism with African-Americans. What if Carson had used his appeal to not only persuade blacks, but also chastise conservative whites into really embracing African-Americans in actions, not just empty political autopsies and useless rhetoric?
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