I Had the Privilege of Spending an Hour With an Inner City Black Man 

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 6 2014 4:30 PM

I Had the Privilege of Spending an Hour With an Inner City Black Man

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According to Mark Walker, Republican candidate for Congress, Dr. Ben Carson is an exception to a black culture with "no concept of the pride and joy" of investing in their children.

Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

Mark Walker is the Republican nominee for the North Carolina congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Howard Coble. He could don a tie-dyed kilt and a frappe-stained tank top for the rest of the campaign and still glide into the House of Representatives. But the oppo machine still churns in his race, and it has discovered this 16-month-old Facebook note. (Arrow annotation points to the part that my source thought was noteworthy.)

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Now: Is this offensive? My colleague Boer Deng points out that "Amy Chua makes a similar argument in the most recent book about why some groups have 'higher success' in this country than others, that blacks in America have been constantly taught that their culture is not valued and so they stop valuing it." Chua's book arrived only in February 2014, but it's not like the argument is unique to her and her husband/co-author. It's been a Republican doctrine for far longer—it's controversial even when black Republicans, like former Rep. Allen West, express it. A white Republican can't help but sound gormless when he goes there. This is among the reasons that Ben Carson's latest political tome (his second) is chasing Hillary Clinton's in total sales, only 2,000 copies behind as of this week.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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