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Ben Carson: GOP Needs to Denounce Church Shooting as 'Act of Racism'

Image: Ben Carson: GOP Needs to Denounce Church Shooting as 'Act of Racism'
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By    |   Monday, 22 Jun 2015 05:08 PM

Republican presidential contender Ben Carson chided GOP rivals for not coming out forcefully enough to condemn last week's slayings of nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C., as "an act of racism, a hate crime."

In a commentary piece in USA Today Monday, the retired pediatric neurosurgeon writes "Not everything is about race in this country.

But when it is about race, then it just is."

"Let's call this sickness what it is, so we can get on with the healing," the only black
GOP presidential candidate urges.

Carson decries "people who are claiming that they can lead this country who dare
not call this tragedy an act of racism, a hate crime, for fear of offending a particular
segment of the electorate."

"I understand the sensitivities," he writes. "But refusing to call it what it is — racism —
is a far more dangerous proposition."

"Racism was once epidemic in America, but through struggle, sacrifice, soul-searching
and meaningful social change, we have made much progress," he adds. "Clearly, the
struggle is far from finished, and we must own up to that fact and that challenge."

He warned "in the middle of an election cycle" politicians "try to score political
points, look for scapegoats and easy answers," but scolds: "That's the lowest common
denominator of politics at a time when we need true leadership."

Early on at last week's Faith and Freedom Coalition, several Republican candidates who touched on the Charleston shootings focused on the fact the massacre occurred inside a church, Politico reports, adding that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Thursday didn't mention the shootings at all.

Though he spoke about race when urging Republicans to become a "party of minority rights," Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, ascribed the killings to "people straying away" from faith, Politico reports.

And former Sen. Rick Santorum described the shooting as a "crime of hate" and called it an "assault on religious liberty," while Jeb Bush reacted cautiously about a racial motivation, Politico reports.

"Looks like it to me it was, but we’ll find out all the information," Bush said Friday at the conference during a hallway interview, Politico reports.

South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, though he initially didn't call last Wednesday's massacre a racist act, on Saturday released a prepared statement that there was "no doubt" of the racial motivation, according to the Washington Examiner.

And Bush called the massacre racist at a dinner speech last Friday night, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

"Now is the time to abandon political expediency and seize this opportunity to demonstrate what we are really made of as a people, as a great country," Carson writes.

"We can come out stronger on the other end of this terrible tragedy, and we can heal this sickness that is crippling our nation. I know we can. But first we have to face the facts."

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Republican presidential contender Ben Carson chided GOP rivals for not coming out forcefully enough to condemn last week's slayings of nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C., as "an act of racism, a hate crime."
ben carson, republicans, church, shooting, racism, hate, crime
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2015-08-22
Monday, 22 Jun 2015 05:08 PM
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