“You know, I was asked by an NPR reporter once why don’t I talk about race that often. I said, “It’s because I’m a neurosurgeon.” And she thought that was a strange response . . . I said, “You see, when I take someone to the operating room, I’m actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn’t make them who they are. The hair doesn’t make them who they are. And it’s time for us to move beyond that because . . . our strength as a nation comes in our unity.” Dr. Ben Carson
Last week, the GOP held its first 2016 presidential debate. Dr. Carson gave the response above. I posted it on Facebook and there were several likes on the post. The thing that struck me most, was Republicans and Democrat, White, Black, Hispanic and Latino all made up those likes.
But some of the responses from a couple friends who commented were against Carson and promoted the need for a conversation on race.
Below is my position and feeling that supports Dr. Carson’s quote above.
“There’s so much pain in the Black community and guilt in the White community.
Our nation was created in a vision, fought for with courage, built on the backs of slaves, righted by the struggle of Blacks so that many others can share in the fountain of hope that she gives.
We know there are wrongs that still need to be righted.
But I ask that you reflect on this before you answer.
What if all the struggles were for us to learn that the best way forward is together? That we must come up with a better strategy.
We’ve been doing the same thing since the 60s: begging to be accepted.
What if it’s our turn, our time to GROW up! To be stronger! To be a king and queen! To stop being emotional!
To use our intellect. To be proud, not ashamed of being the descendants of slaves. To see in the example of our President, how to elevate above the chaos and do historic things.
To stop asking for, demanding and just be the best example.
See, if we keep talking about race, instead of addressing issues of national concern, we will never get to the promised land!
Blacks hold up progress as much as Whites. Don’t react to that statement emotionally. Really think about it!!!
Yes, police officers are wrong. Want to fix it? Address the policies of policing and rules of engagement in America. It doesn’t have to be about Black and White.
Want to address black on black crime in America and the killing of unarmed citizens who are too often black but also, White and Hispanic? Then address gun reform!
Want to address economic disparity in America. Then address the issues of education. And why young poor people in particular, young boys take their education for granted. Open up opportunities for them to know their history and increase their desire to be doctors and lawyers. This education piece is a national epidemic.
Want to address jobs and unemployment then you have to do those things first, so that these young people are inspired to create jobs. And then our athletes will want to contribute and invest their millions in ways they can build more wealth instead of retiring with no money!
Want to address health disparities? Address economics and do it holistically with a national approach. And it will get better, you will see for everyone.
But the best part of this approach is, if Blacks stand up as a whole and address these issues as a national one, many will join.
They will love and appreciate you as kings and queens who rose above the issue of race. Not because race isn’t an issue. They will because we found an elevated way to approach it. That didn’t point a finger in the chest or one in the eye.
And guess what else? When you rise up to that level, we can make sure that the history books document the true history of Black and White in America. Because not only will we be sitting at the table. Or chairing the meeting. We will have many more on our side, who will vote for what is right for everyone. Not what is just for a few.
That’s what America is about. And that’s what Dr. Carson was saying. Stop talking about race and let’s use your brains to formulate, strategize and develop a better way FORWARD!”
Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR) and Party Politics (PP). Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Like Atiba Madyun on Facebook.