- The Washington Times - Friday, September 11, 2015

Retired neurosurgeon and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson said Friday that the Black Lives Matter movement should add the word “all” to its name, calling for a broader examination of the factors that have kept the black community in what he called a “very dependent position” for decades.

Mr. Carson, speaking in Missouri after a closed-door roundtable on Ferguson, said he’s “very happy” to meet with Black Lives Matter activists.

“My beef with [the] Black Lives Matter movement has been I think they need to add a word, and that word is ‘all,’” Mr. Carson said. “All black lives matter.”

“Including the ones that are eradicated by abortions, including the ones that are eradicated on the streets every day by violence,” he said. “And we need to be looking at all of the factors that have kept the black community in a very dependent position for decades.”

Last summer’s shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black man, by a white police officer in Ferguson sparked nationwide protests and spurred on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mr. Carson said it’s important to teach “everybody — our young people, our police officers, our teachers, our students — everybody” “the importance of respecting other people.”

“One of the things that has been very helpful here in Ferguson is that people have begun the dialogue,” he said. “We need to start these dialogues before there’s a problem. People need to develop relationships before there’s a problem.”

Mr. Carson said there’s a “trillion dollars of assets in the black community” and that there are only about 10 countries in the entire world with an annual budget of a trillion dollars.

“I mean, it’s an enormous amount of resources. We need to be talking about how you turn those resources over in your own community to create even more and reach back and pull other people up,” he said.

He also called for a discussion on the education system, calling education the “great divide.”

“I don’t care where a person comes from — they get a good education, they write their own ticket,” he said. “Those sort of things we need to be talking about. We need to be talking about the drugs, and the drug dealers, and the deleterious effect that they have on the community.

“We need to be talking about out-of-wedlock births and what that does to a woman’s educational possibilities and what it does to that child,” he said. “[It] makes them four times more likely to grow up in poverty, to end up on welfare or in the penal system. Until we begin to address these issues, we’re not [going to] get anywhere.

“And as [an] overall society, we need to address the fact that we only have 330 million people,” he said. “China has over a billion. India has over a billion. We have to compete with them on [a] global scale. We can’t afford to be losing our people.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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