Neurosurgeon and former HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Sunday called Critical Race Theory "a bunch of garbage," saying it would redefine what American society "is based on."
Carson made the comments during an Independence Day interview with Newsmax's Eric Bolling, who began by asking Carson to define CRT.
"It's an attempt to use race as a mechanism for redefining our society, redefining what it was based on, and how it impacts everybody," Carson said. "And it wants our people to believe that your race is the most critical determinant of who you are and what happens to you in our society. In other words, it's a bunch of garbage."
Although CRT itself is controversial, its definition also is disputed. Bolling quoted a definition of CRT by supporter Kimberle Crenshaw, who defined it as an "academic discipline that seeks to understand how racism has shaped U.S. law and how those laws have continued to impact the lives of non-white people." Bolling was skeptical of her definition.
Britannica says Critical Race Theorists "hold that the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans."
Critical Race Theory, Carson said, is dividing America. He was secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Trump administration.
"Our country is a magnificent place," Carson said. "It can't be destroyed by Russia or China, or Iran or North Korea. But it can be destroyed from within – there's no question about that. That's what Jesus meant when he said a house divided cannot stand. Lincoln reiterated that, and we need to recognize that we, the American people are not enemies.
"I'm probably in a unique position when it comes to race, in that I'm also a neurosurgeon," Carson said. "And, you know, when I peel that scalp back and take that bone flap off and open the dura, I'm looking at the thing that makes that person who they are. It's not their nose or their hair or their skin that makes them who they are. It is their brain, and the way they process information. That's what determines your character. That determines exactly who you become."
America's schools, Carson said, are changing – for the worse – what America's youth believe about the country.
"It was Vladimir Lenin who said, Give me your children, to teach for four years, and the seeds that I plant will never be uprooted," Carson said.
Supporters of CRT, he said, "know the importance of getting into the school systems, and indoctrinating the young people, and that will have a permanent effect."
"We're already starting to see the seeds of that. Last summer, with all the things that were going on in Portland and Seattle, a lot of those young people are coming of age now," Carson said. "They've been taught to hate the United States [and] hate who we are. If they were taught the true history, they would recognize that this is a time to celebrate who we are, and particularly in the black community. When I was a kid growing up, it was a big deal when some black person came on television in a non-servant role. And now you have black admirals and generals and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and presidents [of] universities – even Ivy League schools, a black president, black vice president. I mean, give me a break."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool
Video courtesy: ©Newsmax TV
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.