The United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson urged Sunday morning for the country to “engage in dialogue” on racism, rather than hurling insults and demonizing each other.
“What will help the national heal is if we engage in dialogue together,” Carson said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Let’s not make the solution be a Democrat solution or a Republican solution. Let’s make it be an American solution and recognize that our country is extraordinary.”
POLITICO I in its report said the HUD Secretary, Carson went on to say that while other countries like China and Russia can’t bring down America, “we can destroy ourselves internally” and it’s important that the American people recognize that they are “not each other’s enemies.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper took note of Carson’s calls for healing and understanding, but wondered if his boss might be part of the problem. Tapper cited President Donald Trump’s retweet of a post attacking the character of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck less than two weeks ago.
“I believe you’re going to be hearing from the president this week on this topic in some detail, and I would ask you to reserve judgment until after that time,” Carson responded.
Carson, who was a Republican presidential candidate in 2016, also noted that he “grew up at a time when there was real systemic racism,” reflecting on his own experiences as a black high school student in Detroit.
“That kind of thing was not uncommon when I was growing up. That kind of thing is very uncommon now,” he said. “Are there still racists around? Absolutely. There were yesterday, there are today, and there will be tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t fight it and this is an opportune time, right now. People are concentrating on this. We can’t let this moment slip away.”
“We need to deal with some of the issues in the police departments but this is an easy time to do it,” Carson added. “We have policemen who are rogue. The vast majority of policemen are wonderful, but you have some who are rogue and they can go from one jurisdiction to another jurisdiction, and nobody does anything about it.”
Similarly, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — who served as both national security adviser and secretary of State under President George W. Bush — urged Trump to change his tone when discussing these issues and rely more on empathy to further the conversation.
“I would ask the president to first and foremost speak in the language of unity, the language of empathy,” said Rice in an interview with host Margaret Brennan on CBS’ “Face the Nation.“ “Not everyone is going to agree with any president, with this president, but you have to speak to every American, not just to those who might agree with you.”
“I’m not advising the president but if I were, I would say let’s put tweeting aside for a little bit and talk to us, have a conversation with us,” Rice added. “I think we need that and I think he can do it.”