Ben Carson and three other panelists offered a town hall meeting Monday somber thoughts on how to improve race relations, notably that the better people get educated and get to know one another, the better race relations will be.
Recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City were the focus of several questions. Teenager Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, and the policeman involved was not indicted, spurring days of violent protests. In New York, a grand jury would not indict the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed man put in an apparent choke hold.
The town hall meeting, which featured a live studio audience at NewsChannel 8, which serves the Washington metropolitan area, as well as social media participants from around the country, was meant to reflect on race relations on the day commemorating Martin Luther King’s Birthday.
“I think we have to talk to both sides on this,” urged Carson, a retired neurosurgeon seriously considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination. “We have to talk to both the police and the communities. Because both of them have to accept some degree on humility. both have to agree they’re not perfect.
Perhaps police can adopt some different techniques, Carson said. He offered praise for the police--”let’s not...make it sound like all the problems are in one area. We have problems throughout our society.”
The community, he said, “has to be willing to admit not everybody in that community is not an angel.”
Get to know each other, Carson said. “We need to create a relationship between people because You’realways gonna have suspicion when that person is a stranger.”
Seated next to Carson was Benjamin Crump, the Brown family’s attorney. Crump urged emphasis on what he called the “three Es,” education, economy and elections. Each influences the other, he explained. Crump also urged making sure laws do not discourage voting.
“I’m seeing a lot of people turned away from polls and it’s being legitimated. Everyone needs to have voice being heard,” he said. “If not you see what you see in Ferguson.”
Also on the panel were Frederick Wilson II, whose video on race relations went viral recently, and journalist Patricia Guadalupe.