Ben Carson admits the Charleston shooting was an act of racism: "Let's call this sickness what it is"

"If we teach [the youth] it is OK to deny racism exists...then we will perpetuate this sickness"

By Joanna Rothkopf
Published June 22, 2015 1:05PM (EDT)
  (AP/Lenny Ignelzi)
(AP/Lenny Ignelzi)

In an op-ed published Monday morning to USA Today's website, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson admitted what so many other conservative commentators have refused to consider: that the attack on an historically black Charleston church was racially-motivated.

"When the sole adult survivor of the ordeal reports that the killer shouted before opening fire, 'You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go" -- well, that sounds to me a lot like racial hatred," Carson wrote.

"Let's call this sickness what it is, so we can get on with the healing," he continued. "If this were a medical disease, and all the doctors recognized the symptoms but refused to make the diagnosis for fear of offending the patient, we could call it madness. But there are people who are claiming that they can lead this country who dare not call this tragedy an act of racism, a hate crime, for fear of offending a particular segment of the electorate."

Carson then argues that the burden is on politicians to offer leadership in a time of crisis.

"...The youth will take cues from their leaders. If we teach them it is OK to deny racism exists, even when it's plainly staring them in the face, then we will perpetuate this sickness into the next generation and the next," he wrote. "Now is the time to abandon political expediency and seize this opportunity to demonstrate what we are really made of as a people, as a great country."

Read the whole op-ed here.

Joanna Rothkopf

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2016 Elections Ben Carson Charleston Shooting Dylann Storm Roof Racism South Carolina