Dr. Ben Carson wants to shift the focus of the Black Lives Matter movement. This past Saturday, the presidential candidate appeared at a daylong conference at Allen University, a historically black college, alongside Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley to discuss issues concerning black communities. Dr. Carson said that the Black Lives Matter movement needs to shift its focus from police brutality to other atrocities threatening black lives like abortion and homicide:
“I believe that we ought to be talking about all black lives, not just a few,” Carson said. “The greatest number of black lives are eliminated in abortion clinics and that bothers me, and when I look in our major cities, the number one cause of death for young black men is homicide. That to me is a very serious problem. I would like them to mix those things in and let’s talk about all that rather than just one small segment.”
However, he did offer solid answers to the struggling relationship between police officers and people of color. Police should reach out to their communities. They should be “introduced regularly, so that Johnny’s first experience with police is playing kickball, not being chased down an alley… You don’t condemn the whole group, and base policies on the bad apples.” When it comes to police brutality, policies do not work in a space where individual situations are to be considered.
Carson noted the national issue can be curbed by reinforcing the respect once given to police officers, especially by the black community. There is a lack of respect for authority in today’s young that, if reintroduced into their upbringing, especially at home, would create better connections and communication between police and those they are called to serve.
Carolina Baker works for the American Principles Project.