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.
Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas
Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.
Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.
When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.
Japan wants to dump Fukushima radioactive water into ocean
Japan's top government spokesman slapped down the environment minister on Tuesday after he said there was "no other option" but to release radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.
"It is not true that we have decided on the disposal method," Chief Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters after Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada's comments earlier in the day.
The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), is storing more than one million tonnes of contaminated water in tanks at the site of Fukushima Daiichi Plant that was wrecked by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.
Here’s one big reason why Trump is having a white-hot meltdown over the Fed not dropping interest rates
President Donald Trump has a personal conflict-of-interest that may be impacting his decisions in his public feud with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
"President Trump stands to save millions of dollars annually in interest on outstanding loans on his hotels and resorts if the Federal Reserve lowers rates as he has been demanding, according to public filings and financial experts," The Washington Post reported Saturday.