The PJ Tatler

Media Knives Out for Dr. Ben Carson

Look, Dr. Ben Carson is not ready to be president of the United States; a diss of Obama at a prayer breakfast does not a political career make. Still, the fact that his candidacy has received any traction at all is a testament to the hunger the good people of the U.S. have to hold Obama accountable for what he has done. So naturally, the media knives are out:

For many young African Americans who grew up seeing Carson as the embodiment of black achievement — a poor inner-city boy who became one of the world’s most accomplished neurosurgeons — his emergence as a conservative hero and unabashed critic of the United States’ first black president has been jarring.

Carson has been a black icon since 1987, when he became the first person to successfully separate twins conjoined at the backs of their heads. He was a rare and much-desired role model: a black man who became known for his intellect, not for telling jokes or shooting basketballs.

But now retired from his medical career, Carson, 63, has become known more widely since using his speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast to offer a conservative critique of U.S. health-care and spending policies, while standing a few feet from President Obama.

In the ensuing months and years, Carson’s attacks grew sharper — deriding Obama’s signature health-care law as the “worst thing to have happened in this nation since slavery” and, in the pages of GQ, likening Obama to a “psychopath.” Carson’s 2014 book, “One Nation,” assails a decline of moral values in America and its government.

As Carson prepares to announce his candidacy for president on Monday in his home town of Detroit, his political base is now whiter and more rural.

You read that right: the media movement to turn Ben Carson into an Honorary White Man has well and truly begun.

“Has he lost his sense of who he is?” said the Rev. Jamal Bryant, a prominent black pastor in Baltimore, where Carson lived for decades when he was director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. “He does not see he is the next Herman Cain.”

Mark Terrelonge, 26, who is in his final year at Stanford University School of Medicine, said he feels his heart sink every time another clip of Carson shows up on his Facebook feed.Reading “Gifted Hands” as a teenager, Terrelonge said he saw Carson’s story as an affirmation of his own ambitions to become a doctor. Never before had he heard of a black man in the upper echelons of medicine. But Terrelonge, who is gay, was stung when he heard Carson say that homosexuality was a choice.

“I don’t know how to say it exactly,” Terrelonge said. “I don’t want to attack him because he’s done great things in medicine, but the role-model aspect of him has kind of diminished in my life.”

No low too far. But then, the Left always plays to win.