Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson toured Ferguson, Missouri on Friday, looking into efforts to rebuild the riot-weary St. Louis suburb and offering advice on how to mend racial divisions in the United States.
Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon who has seen his popularity surge recently in opinion polls, visited with business owners, community leaders, clergy and others who have been working to heal Ferguson and the surrounding St. Louis area after months of sometimes violent protests.
Ferguson and surrounding communities were thrust into the national spotlight in August 2014 after a white Ferguson policeman shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
The killing exposed a deeply ingrained racial divide in the region and in many other parts of the country, and helped spur a national debate on police treatment of minorities.
On Friday, Carson, who is African-American, said he does not see racial issues as being as much of a problem for America as other social problems, including education inequities and a breakdown in values.
“Education is the great divide,” Carson said. “Children need to understand that they have to get a good education.”
He also said that mutual respect – across races and between police and civilians – should be a focus.
“We need to de-emphasize race and emphasize respect for each other,” he said. “If we respect people, we can begin to understand them. Our strength is in our unity.”
Carson said he was raised to respect the police and “never had any problem.”
The candidate held a news conference and gave a speech at Republican activist Phyllis Schlafly’s national Eagle Forum convention in St. Louis.
Carson also took the opportunity to underscore his anti-abortion position, saying that the “Black Lives Matter” movement that grew out of the Brown killing should include “black lives taken by abortion.”
Some Republican presidential candidates have criticized the movement, saying it has encouraged anti-police violence.
A Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday showed Carson second only to Donald Trump in garnering favor from likely Republican voters in the Iowa caucus. The survey put support for Trump at 27 percent, followed by Carson at 21 percent.
Patricia McNeal, 75, who works in Ferguson but lives in nearby Florissant, said she sees Carson as a “man of integrity.”
“He does not try to degrade other people,” she said.
Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls
But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans
The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.
In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.
Conservative Ben Shapiro tweeted something many found offensive — so now he’s calling his critics ‘garbage’
Right wing "thought leader" Ben Shapiro appeared today to say not using the "N" word is nearly impossible as he defended conservative, pro-gun teen Kyle Kashuv, one of the Parkland survivors who just had his acceptance to Harvard rescinded over his racist remarks, which included repeated use of the "N" word.
To be clear, Shapiro denies that's what he meant.
Here is Shapiro on Twitter, in what many took as him appearing to call not using the "N" word – in Kashuv's case, repeatedly, over and over and over again, "an insane, cruel standard no one can possibly meet."