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Ben Carson: I Share 'Same Goal' for America With Al Sharpton

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Apr 2015 11:16 PM

Retired pediatric neurosurgeon and 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson said Tuesday that he and the Rev. Al Sharpton share the same objective in building up America, but differed on how the ultimate goals should be reached.

"Sharpton and I have the same goal: to build a brighter, stronger America that provides equal opportunities and access to the underserved and forgotten," Carson said in a syndicated column. "However, we have a fundamental difference of opinion regarding the best way to achieve such an end."

Carson, who is expected to announce a decision on his presidential aspirations in the coming weeks, said he spoke last week to a national convention of Sharpton's National Action Network civil rights organization in New York City. The group was established in 1991.

He said the convention "proved to be a great stage for productive dialogue and conversation" through panels on such issues as housing, healthcare, law enforcement, corporate finance, and education. Carson said that he "had the pleasure of speaking" there.

"I voiced my opinion on several of these issues, while also promoting the idea that the choices we make in this world have the most to do with our outcomes," he said. "Personal responsibility and self-determination — not the household into which you are born, the police force in your neighborhood or the color of your skin — are the key contributing factors of your life."

Carson, 63, is the author of the new book, "One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future."

In reflecting on his impoverished background while growing up in Detroit, he said that "I know from my own experience of having been raised in dire poverty by a single mother that education has the power to bridge socio-economic divides and lift entire families out of destitution.

"My mother, who is the hero in my life, refused to embrace a victim mentality that many do in today's world," Carson added. "That is why I stress the importance of instilling in our children the mindset that they can accomplish anything if they do not think they are victims."

Carson noted that President Lyndon B. Johnson began the "War on Poverty" 50 years ago "that we have not come close to winning."

He attributed it to "rather than creating a system that lifts people out of a meager financial situation, we have developed a system that perpetuates generational dependence and an inability to escape hardship.

"The programs established throughout the years have not worked," Carson said, "because the implementation and follow-up procedures do not match the rhetoric heard in press conferences and announcements.

"Some have attempted to win the war on poverty and improve the members of our community by holding boycotts and assembling demonstrations," the retired physician continued. "This method has made some people wealthy (the organizers), but not the people it claims to help.

"It is crucial that through various policies and self-reflection, we get more people from a state of dependence to one of independence," Carson said. "In the African-American community, we do not need to wait for others to help us.

"We need to use our God-given talents to achieve greatness and lift others up."

He concluded that America's diversity "is a blessing, and God has given us all the tools to overcome tribulations and be as productive as the next person. There is no stone we cannot overturn.

"America achieved prominence in record time because of its talented and diverse population, and the future should be no different," Carson added. "Let us not play into the game of having enemies.

"Let us come together to hold fast to those principles and family values that got us through troubling times so that we can uplift all communities and foster equality."

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Retired pediatric neurosurgeon and 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson said Tuesday that he and the Rev. Al Sharpton share the same objective in building up America, but differed on how the ultimate goals should be reached.
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Tuesday, 14 Apr 2015 11:16 PM
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