- The Washington Times - Monday, December 8, 2014

Rep. Hank Johnson, Georgia Democrat, said black people like retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson are trying to tap into the ignorance of people who have been whipped “into a frenzy, like a lynch mob.”

Mr. Johnson was speaking on Michael Smerconish’s radio show about President Obama and opposition that he’s faced since winning election.

“I support the president, I believe he’s done as much as is humanly possible to advance the cause of justice and prosperity and freedom for all people, not just blacks, and not just here in America, but across the world. I think he has changed the paradigm of American foreign policy,” Mr. Johnson said in comments first flagged by Buzzfeed. “But it’s unfortunate that everything he does tends to pick up opposition from his political enemies, and it has become more than just political — it’s personal enemies.”

“And so, to the extent that we have African Americans trying to tap into that vein of ignorance, African Americans like Dr. Ben Carson, who is a very smart, well-educated man and knows exactly what he’s doing, when we have blacks like that trying to tap into the ignorance of people who have been whipped into a frenzy, like a lynch mob, and you go to try to garner support from those folks, I think it’s very disappointing that we would have that kind of political discourse going on in this country,” said Mr. Johnson, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Mr. Carson, who is eyeing a possible 2016 presidential bid on the Republican side, has criticized the state of race relations under Mr. Obama in recent weeks.

Mr. Obama has called for a strengthening of trust between minority communities and law enforcement in the wake of the two recent decisions by grand juries in Ferguson, Missouri, and on Staten Island not to indict white police officers for their respective roles in the deaths of unarmed black men.

Mr. Carson also writes a weekly column for The Washington Times.

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