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

Weigel
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

477305479-conservative-pundit-and-author-dr-ben-carson-speaks
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.)

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 3.54.13 PM

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 reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.