Black Columnist Brands Dr. Ben Carson as ‘a Court Jester, a Minstrel Show’

By Abigail Wilkinson | May 26, 2015 | 4:59pm EDT
Dr. Ben Carson. (AP photo)

( -- Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Cynthia Tucker criticized Dr. Ben Carson for his conservative political and religious views, referring to the retired pediatric neurosurgeon and 2016 presidential candidate as “the GOP’s latest black mascot, a court jester, a minstrel show.”

Carson, who was raised in a poor, single-parent household in inner-city Detroit, became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland at age 33. He made medical history when he became the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins attached at the head.

He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President George W. Bush in 2008, founded the Carson Scholars Fund, which awards scholarships to academically gifted students who contribute to their communities, and is a New York Times-bestselling author.

Claiming to speak for the black community, Tucker said that Carson’s non-politically correct views on homosexuality, evolution and religion threaten to eclipse his many accomplishments, and that because of his conservative views he “stands to lose his place as one of the nation’s most admired men.”

Tucker condemned Carson’s “right-wing intolerance and know-nothingism” earlier this month in her column for Uexpress, describing him as “a political novice who is happily ignorant of policy, both foreign and domestic, and contemptuous of religious pluralism and personal liberties.”

Carson “stood as stark repudiation of invidious stereotypes about black intellectual capacity,” Tucker wrote in her column. “But the good doctor’s forays into Republican presidential politics threatens to become his epitaph to overshadow - perhaps even to overwhelm - his academic and surgical accomplishments.”

Black talk show host and author Tavis Smiley also blasted Carson in an appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor” last week. “He’s a black bull in a Republican china shop,” Smiley said. “And if he’s not careful, he is going to do himself irreparable damage.”

However, host Bill O’Reilly commented that Tucker’s criticism is primarily a result of Carson’s condemnation of Obamacare, which Carson has compared to slavery, noting that “it is making all of us subservient to the government.”

Booker T. Washington and other pioneering black leaders “would never have countenanced such nonsense,” Tucker wrote.

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