Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson recounted Wednesday how one of his Maryland neighbors was coaxed into taking down a Confederate flag.
Carson said Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day” that when he moved to a new home in rural Maryland one of his neighbors put up a Confederate flag – “I guess as a message to us,” he said.
The other neighbors responded by flying American flags, which Carson said “shamed” the neighbor into taking down the Confederate one, Carson said.
“We are social beings. Let’s send the right messages to each other and I think that will take care of a lot of our problems,” Carson said.
Carson is the only black candidate running in the wide open field of Republican candidates this election. He often stands out for telling personal stories – his biography of rising out of poverty to become a world-famous neurosurgeon was documented in the movie “Gifted Hands”. But he also often stumbles when taking on specific issues, like same-sex marriage.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, called Monday on state lawmakers to take down the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, also a presidential candidate, joined Haley in making the call and the other Republican contenders who had been hedging on the issue later joined in the call.
Carson stressed the importance of calling things out at face value – whether that is radical Islam or what the Confederate flag represents.
“I think that what we as Americans once again have to keep in mind is that this is a pluralistic society and we have to live together, and that means we have to identify things that are wrong,” Carson said. “We have to call them what they are. Because you’ll never be able to deal with them unless you call them what they are.”
The South Carolina General Assembly is now debating the issue of the Confederate flag on its Statehouse grounds.