Uh oh. Is Dr. Ben Carson, beloved hero to right-wingers who love when a black man assures them it's OK to hate President Barack Blackity-Black Obama, and Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery, about to be escorted from the party? In an op-ed in USA Today, Carson violates the first -- and second and third and eleventeenth -- rule of being a black conservative, by declaring that racism is not dead after all:

Not everything is about race in this country. But when it is about race, then it just is. So when a guy who has been depicted wearing a jacket featuring an apartheid-era Rhodesian flag walks into a historic black church and guns down nine African-American worshipers at a Bible study meeting, common sense leads one to believe his motivations are based in racism.

We don't know what Carson's been smoking, but his fellow Republican candidates, as well as everyone on Fox News, have already explained that there is simply no way to know whether Dylann Roof's murder spree was racially motivated. And even if race was a contributing factor, it certainly could not have been the only, or even primary, reason Roof shot nine African Americans dead in their church. He could have been high on drugs, and desensitized by abortion, and assaulting Christians because there is a War on Christians right now, dontcha know? Oh, actually, Dr. Carson does know:

Was it an attack on innocent Christians? Manifestly so.

According to Roof's neighbor Christon Scriven, though, he originally wanted to shoot up a school, but may have ultimately decided on a Bible study group in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church instead because it was an easier target. But anyway. Despite Roof's "manifestly" obvious motivation of killing Christians, Dr. Carson diagnoses him with a clear case of racism:

Is this killer a sick individual? In my professional opinion, yes, he is. What is his sickness? It's the sickness of racism, a spiritual sickness that distorts the mind and heart and causes irrational and baseless fear and hatred in people of all colors. Racism was once epidemic in America, but, through struggle, sacrifice, soul-searching and meaningful social change, we have made much progress. Clearly, the struggle is far from finished, and we must own up to that fact and that challenge.

Damn, those are some harsh words from the good doctor who was too afraid to call on South Carolina to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol, saying only that while the flag is "inflammatory," people cannot see beyond the "angst" it provokes, and South Carolinians need to have "an intelligent discussion" about that.

Carson doesn't call out his fellow Republican candidates who are afraid to say "racism," but you don't have to be a brain surgeon to conclude that's what he's doing. You also don't need a medical degree to wonder if this might be the beginning of the end of the party's love affair with Carson. Remember when pizza mogul and lady-harasser Herman Cain was so popular with Republicans, until he made the unfortunate mistake of suggesting that rival Rick Perry's vacation spot, formerly named "Niggerhead Ranch," was "plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country"? Conservatives did not take kindly to Cain's "cheap shot" and sudden willingness "to play the race card against a fellow Republican when it benefits him." Cain was more than welcome in the GOP when he wasn't that kind of African American, but lecturing his party on the N-word? Unacceptable.

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Maybe Carson will be allowed to get away with it, since some Republicans, including Rick Santorum and (eventually, after saying there was no way to know) Jeb Bush, have tentatively admitted that race might have something to do with the Charleston shooting, but Carson should probably resume talking about how the fight for gay rights in no way resembles the fight for African Americans' civil rights, just to be on the safe side.

[USA Today / Reuters]


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