Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson urged protesters Tuesday not to “succumb” to those who are trying to “divide and conquer” the country by pitting Americans against one another.
“We need to recognize that we, the American people, are not each other’s enemies,” Carson told “The Story.”
“We should not succumb to those who are trying to make us believe that we are enemies, to divide and conquer,” he said. “I’ve never seen a situation where violence, activity of this nature accomplishes something good, it only accomplishes bad.”
“We should not succumb to those who are trying to make us believe that we are enemies.”
Responding to those who justify the violence under the pretense that peaceful pleas for chance would be ignored, Carson asked, “Have they forgotten about the legacy of one of the greatest Americans of all time, Dr. Martin Luther King, who was an advocate for nonviolent protests and through the success of a nonviolent protest brought about the greatest social change that has ever been seen?”
“How can they forget about that so easily?” he asked host Martha MacCallum.
Carson urged protesters to put their “feelings” aside and trust that the criminal justice system will hold the Minneapolis police officers widely blamed for George Floyd’s death accountable.
Rioting “only accomplishes bad, it’s ruining these neighborhoods, it’s ruining the chances of a lot of people to climb the ladders of opportunity,” he said.
“Think about those people. Don’t just think about your feelings, I understand the anger … there is reason to be angry about that but the justice system, I can virtually guarantee you, is going to make sure that those officers are taken care of in terms of what they did, a crime against humanity,” he asserted. “We do not need to take it into our own hands.”
When asked about the president’s response to the civil unrest gripping the country, Carson said he spoke to Trump after Monday’s protests at Lafayette Square and said that the president was “very disturbed from what happened to Mr. Floyd.”
“And he’s very disturbed that things are moving so slowly in terms of the justice system,” Carson added, “but he’s sure that it will be taken care of.”
Carson later told MacCallum that he would “like to see everybody take a step back on both sides” and stop politicizing the crisis.
“Don’t use opportunity to criticize someone else and try to make them into the demon and get into respective corners and throw and hurl insults at each other, that’s not helpful,” Carson concluded. “We can do better than that … that’s what I’d like to see from every corner.”