Long before he decided to run for the highest elected office in the country, long before his rise in the polls, long before the attacks on his character, Dr. Benjamin Carson has been an inspiration to me and my family.
I’ll never forget the day when my eldest son had to choose someone for Black History month to do a presentation on. With my husband being introduced to Dr. Carson as a Biochemistry major in college inspiring him to pursue the sciences and myself being a twin and having heard the miracle of him being the first doctor to separate conjoined twins, it was clear to me that my son would be doing his report on Dr. Carson.
As we worked on the report, my son asked lots of questions and we spent hours researching the life of one of the world’s greatest pediatric neurosurgeons.
It was at that moment that Dr. Carson was no longer an individual hero of my husband and me, but an inspiration to our entire family. When the movie, “Gifted Hands,” aired on television, we recorded it, watched it together, and discussed the parts of Dr. Carson’s life that inspired us the most.
When my children discovered that Dr. Carson was running for president, they did not need to know who else was running — Ben Carson had their vote!
I, on the other hand, was not so sure, for there are so many viable candidates that need to be evaluated.
He was virtually ignored in the first debate and given few questions, but given polite praise by the media for two memorable comments he made at the end. I watched in the second debate as pundits overlooked him because his calm, thoughtful temperament seemed to be overshadowed by other candidates. However, his social media, and on-the-ground campaign remained disciplined and focused as he rose in the polls.
After the third debate, pundits evaluated his performance as uneventful and were dumb-founded, as usual, when his poll numbers continued to rise.
But I think the thing that caused Dr. Carson to be considered a serious candidate, and thus a threat to many in the media, was the results in recent political polls that showed he had the highest honesty and trustworthy ratings of any presidential candidate.
In fact, the presidential contender polled well above 60 percent while the leading Democrat candidate had an honesty rating in the thirties. Thus, it is incredibly ironic that a series of “news stories” would surface within days of these results that would raise questions about Dr. Carson’s honesty.
Because Dr. Carson has been such an inspiration to me, when I heard about these stories, I went back and read the transcripts and excerpts from his book to examine the claims. I also watched video clips of past “controversial claims” against Dr. Carson.
In so doing, I was surprised, not only at how often, but how, seemingly intentional, his words were misconstrued and how he was belittled and mocked. After a while, I started to get very angry for what I consider to be nothing short of a political lynching of a truly honest and decent man.
It is one thing to disagree with political policies, it is quite another to demean a man who has spent decades saving the lives of the most vulnerable children in the world and has led charities that would raise millions in scholarships and humanitarian efforts.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take a prophet to predict that, should Dr. Benjamin Carson win the Republican nomination, the political beatings he will have to endure will be far more severe than what he is presently experiencing.
I just pray this true American hero will be able to endure because he is admired and loved by millions of us. Sadly for many in the media, this is precisely why his name must be destroyed.
[Bonnie B. Willis is co-founder of The Willis Group, LLC, a Learning, Development, and Life Coaching company here in Fayette County and lives in Fayetteville along with her husband and their five children.]