- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2020

Ben Carson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Monday that “of course” the U.S. is not systemically racist.

“Of course not,” Mr. Carson told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “You know, I’ve seen systemic racism growing up. I mean, we are so much better than that now.”

Mr. Carson said that of course there are still racist people in the country.

“But you know, that doesn’t mean that the whole system is corrupted and needs to be changed,” he said.

He said people who are looking to fundamentally change a society must first prove it is “dysfunctional.”

“So anything that you can do that will create dysfunction helps to bolster that argument,” he said.

National protests, some of which have turned to violent rioting and looting, have broken out across the U.S. after the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Mr. Carson also suggested that President Trump might soften his hard-line stance against athletes and others kneeling during the National Anthem before games as a form of social protest.

“Well, I don’t think he has manifested as much animosity in that region lately. And I think we just continue to work him. He’ll get there,” he said.

Mr. Carson said athletes kneeling during the national anthem should make clear why they’re kneeling.

“I think most of them are kneeling because you know, they want to protest some brutality in the police forces,” he said. “They need to make that very clear. And of course, now that that has been brought to national attention, I’m not sure if it needs to continue.”

Mr. Trump recently slammed New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees over the issue, saying Mr. Brees should not have walked back comments in which the quarterback said he would never agree with anyone “disrespecting” the flag.

Mr. Carson also said he has not met anyone within the Trump administration who is a racist.

“I find real racists are the people who look at me and say he’s black, therefore he has to think this way,” he said. “And if he doesn’t think this way, then he must be an Uncle Tom, he must be a race traitor, he must be this or any horrible thing they can think of. That is very racist.”

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