Conservative darling Dr. Ben Carson said Sunday that the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. had “nothing to do with race.”
The retired neurosurgeon and Fox News contributor made the comment on a “Fox News Sunday” segment where he discussed the shooting with Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has called 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death a “state execution.”
Carson said he wasn’t sure that the Ferguson shooting, which sparked over a week of heated protests against law enforcement, was a “police versus black community issue.” He said that “anger issues” could get in the way for young men, based on his own experience.
“If you take race out of the issue altogether and you take a group of young men and you raise them with no respect for authority, not learning to take on personal responsibility, having easy access to drugs and alcohol, they’re very likely to end up as victims of violence or incarceration,” he said. “Has nothing to do with race.”
Host Chris Wallace then threw out the statistic that 91 percent of black murder victims are killed by other blacks, but Jackson argued there was still a “race dimension” to Brown’s shooting.
“It seems to me that when blacks kill whites, which is rare, it’s swift justice,” he said. “When whites kill blacks, it’s rebellion. When it’s black on black, there’s a shrug of the shoulders, there’s a kind of permissiveness — guns in, drugs in, jobs out.”
“Racial disparity and alienation and mistrust are very combustible factors,” Jackson added.