Opinion: Columnists

Gregory Kane: Brain-dead haters operate on conservative neurosurgeon

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Opinion,Gregory Kane,Columnists

Wasn't I supposed to get a wagon to welcome me to the lunatic fringe?

That's where I am, you know: out on the lunatic fringe, with all those other conservative types that took issue with Baltimore neurosurgeon Ben Carson being called a "token" black.

Actually, to be fair to American University Assistant Professor Deen Freelon, I have to give the exact quote, and some background.

Carson is one of the most renowned neurosurgeons in the world; he's also African-American.

He was born and raised in Detroit; his mom, a single parent, made it clear to her two sons that their being black and poor was not an excuse for academic failure.

She couldn't read, but she had her two sons march down to the local library every week, borrow a book, read it and write a book report on it.

Long story short: Carson goes on to achieve academic success, attends medical school and becomes a neurosurgeon.

Fast forward to 2013, when Carson attends the National Prayer Breakfast and openly chides President Obama about his economic and health care policies. One month later, Carson delivers an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

It is probably at this point that Freelon -- who apparently believes blacks cling to only one philosophy (liberal) -- figured he'd had enough. And what's the first refuge of liberal blacks when they find a black conservative rearing his or her annoying head?

Why, take to Twitter, of course.

"I don't think I realized Ben Carson was conservative until last month," Freelon tweeted. "Shame he's becoming the right wing's go-to black token."

In fairness to Freelon, it must be said that his was one of the more civil tweets regarding Carson. Here are a few others that weren't as nice.

"Ben Carson, you're the GOP's token. Wake up."

"GOPs Uncle Tom live at CPAC now ... Ben Carson."

"Ben Carson is gonna ride this 'white conservatives love THIS type of Negro' fetish all the way to the bank. Cha-ching!"

"Artur Davis [an Alabama congressman who switched from Democrat to Republican] is gonna fight Ben Carson backstage. There can be only one negro that conservatives love. He demands that mantle."

Quite a few conservatives took umbrage with the language Freelon and others used to describe Carson. And yes, much of this is offensive.

But, unlike other conservatives, I actually want liberals -- black ones, white ones, whatever the race -- talking this way, for several reasons.

First, by going immediately to the ad hominem attack -- based solely on skin color -- the liberals have not only shown they've lost the argument, but that they also have no argument.

Second, it shows liberals -- especially Democrats -- to be the race-baiting hustlers they are.

Third, attacks like the one on Carson show that, once again, it's liberals, not conservatives, who need lessons in civility.

Freelon should have quit while he was ahead. Well, actually, he wasn't ahead. He just should have quit before he got any farther behind than what he was. But he followed the "go-to black token" tweet with this one: "Man, seems I struck a nerve among the lunatic fringe re Carson. Instead of insulting me, you might try fixing your probs w/minorities."

So, according to Freelon, anyone who disagrees with his assessment that Carson is the "right wing's go-to black token" is, by definition, a member of the lunatic fringe.

And conservatives, by Freelon's definition, are an exclusively white group that has "problems with minorities."

Black conservatives have existed for centuries. Some of them -- Booker T. Washington and Alabama businessman A.G. Gaston come immediately to mind -- did more for blacks singlehandedly than America's Deen Freelons will do, collectively, in their entire lifetimes.

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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