Carson says the push for equity with reparations and anti-poverty stipends is racist
Ben Carson argued in a new op-ed that the push for racial equity - using tools like reparations and 'anti-poverty' stipends - can lead to more racism and is 'un-American.'
'Proponents of equity see no problem with treating groups of people differently based solely on race, as long as it serves their agenda,' Carson wrote Sunday in The Washington Post. 'This is what we used to call racism, and those not blinded by identity politics still recognize it as such.'
As examples, Carson pointed to the House Judiciary Committee passing Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee's bill to study reparations for descendants of slaves and an Oakland, California initiative that gives anti-poverty stipends to resident who are 'BIPOC' - black, indigenous or people of color.
Oakland's Mayor Libby Schaaf announced in March a privately funded program that gives $500 a month to low-income families of color, giving them no rules on how to spend it.
'That program explicitly excludes poor white families,' Carson argued.
Last week, the House moved H.R. 40 - which would form a commission to study reparations - out of committee for the first time in the resolution's 32-year history.
An estimated 40 million black Americans could receive some sort of payment to the tune of trillions of dollars.
The reparations bill isn't guaranteed to see a vote on the House floor - and has an even less likely chance of getting attention in the Senate.
Ten Republicans would need to support it in order to survive a filibuster.
Carson argued that 'those alive today are not culpable for misconduct that took place long before they were born' adding 'it would be unjust to hold them responsible for it.'
He said it was also unjust to give benefits to people who weren't actually the victims of the misdeeds.
Additionally, Carson argued distributing government benefits to a group based on race or gender is 'guaranteed to produce resentment among the disfavored group.'
'Redistribution agendas driven by race-based victimization narratives that demonize entire groups are bound to fail on many fronts,' the former HUD secretary wrote.
'All available evidence indicates that family structure, educational attainment and workforce participation are the keys to reducing disparities. Thus, reforms that strengthen the family, prioritize student achievement and restore decent-paying jobs for the American working class would do much better at addressing the issues that equity initiatives ostensibly aim to solve,' he said.
Instead, Carson wrote that he's noticed a change in conversation.
'Its focus has moved from equality to equity,' he said. 'That is, instead of pursuing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideal of judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, equity would reward and punish people because of the color of their skin.'
'Rather than equality of opportunity, equity would mandate equality of outcome,' he continued. 'This goal is not only un-American - it is impossible to attain.'
During his 2016 presidential run, and in the op-ed, Carson touted his success story, pointing out he was the product of a single, black mom from Detroit.
'I certainly experienced racism. But I took responsibility for my own life and achieved more than what equity advocates would say our current system allows,' Carson wrote.
Carson went on to become the youngest chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
He participated in the first successful separation of conjoined twins who were attached at the back of the head.
'Rather than teach our children that they are victims of a racist system in which they can only be made whole by making people who have done nothing wrong pay for the past sins of others, we should teach them that they are in charge of their own dignity and their own future,' Carson said.