Ben Carson Explains Race to Chris Hayes
"It doesn't mean that much to me."
| Trey Sanchez |
Appearing on Thursday's All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, Dr. Ben Carson calmly explained to Hayes that categorizing people by race is superficial and that skin color has "very little" to do with defining a person.
With Carson's book "One Nation" in hand, Hayes reasoned that the book argues that race categories are "contrived by liberals to divide people." Carson politely retorted:
“Well, I don't know if it's just liberals who contrive them but the fact of the matter is, I was doing an interview on NPR and I was asked, 'Why don't you talk about race very often?' And I said it's because I'm a neurosurgeon -- and I got a very quizzical look. And I said, 'You see, when I take someone to the operating room, and I shave their head, and I open the scalp and take off bone flap, and open the dura, I am then operating on the thing that makes that person who they are. The skin has very little with who that person is. And it's something that we have just allowed to define us and it really has very little to do with who a person is.
Heather McGhee, President of Demos, a public policy organization, was also on the panel. She mostly agreed with Carson but added that it would be dangerous and unrealistic to hold to the "myth" that one could be color blind -- calling America a place where "we still have vast disparities predicated on race."
But Carson questioned McGhee's analytical style:
“Do you look at things superficially or do you look at things in-depth? When I look at you or you, I am much more interested in what kind of person you are and what your personality is. In fact, I found myself very frequently when we were trying to describe a patient, I said, 'Were they black or white?' It doesn't mean that much to me.
Hayes tried to imply naiveté in Carson's assessment, saying that while that may be true for him, it is not true for "predatory contract buyers in the south side of Chicago" whom Hayes says exploited blacks for their mortgages. But Carson retorted that he is very realistic about racism:
“I'm not saying it doesn't exist. What I'm saying is we need to get to the point where we think more deeply, we're not so affected by superficial thingshttp://www.truthrevolt.org/news/ben-carson-explains-race-chris-hayes