Feature

The latest Republican black hope

Dr. Benjamin Carson is the “Conservative Black Hope of the moment.”

Ta-Nehisi CoatesThe New York Times

Dr. Benjamin Carson is the “Conservative Black Hope of the moment,” said Ta-Nehisi Coates. The African-American neurosurgeon grabbed the attention of conservatives in February, when he lambasted Obamacare in a speech while the uncomfortable president was sitting just feet away. Two weeks ago, Carson compared same-sex marriage supporters to advocates of bestiality and pedophilia, and said black Democrats have a “plantation” mentality. When liberals criticized his comments, he called them “the most racist people there are.” Ever since Obama’s election, conservatives have been seeking a “black hope” like Carson—a fire-breathing, dark-skinned Republican who could simultaneously please an overwhelmingly white audience while inoculating the Right from charges of racism. Perennial candidate Alan Keyes, former RNC chief Michael Steele, presidential contender Herman Cain, and even former Rep. Allen West have all previously auditioned for the role. Carson has been a community leader in Baltimore since the late 1980s, but was ignored by conservatives until Obama became president. When Obama’s second term is over, conservatives will lose interest in Carson, and other blacks, once again. 

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