Prall: Ben Carson, a delusional bigot

BY JACOB PRALL | MAY 07, 2015 5:00 AM

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Look out — an increasingly complex web of things may turn you gay. At least, that’s what many on the right contend, including presidential hopeful Ben Carson.

Carson, a neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate, stated in a March 4 interview with CNN that he believes prison turns “a lot of people” gay.

I checked my calendar, and it said 2015. I wasn’t sure, though, not after reading his comments. So I knocked on my neighbors’ door. Their calendar, too, read 2015. The two of us went door to door for the next hour and, wouldn’t you know it, our entire neighborhood had calendars for 2015. So how is a comment like that acceptable from a potential presidential candidate?

To be fair, Carson isn’t the only one (though as a neurosurgeon, you think he’d have a little more sense than to say such remarks) with perverse ideas on what might turn you gay. Republican Florida state Rep. Charles Van Zant has firmly stated the implementation of the Common Core curriculum is a hoax to enforce homosexuality on America’s youth. One could argue, of course, that there is no logic to this assertion, and it is merely an attempt to spark hysteria and increased voter turnout.

Everyone has her or his right to bigotry, but a presidential candidate is different. A presidential candidate could have power and influence that would seriously endanger the already inconsistent rights afforded by certain states to homosexual couples.

Carson, like many others, still believes being gay is a choice, when studies have consistently found homosexuality as a trait that is with you at birth. However, in recent years, sexuality has found to be even more fluid than something simply predetermined at birth. So, perhaps some people can “choose” unconsciously to be gay. But that shouldn’t matter, because religion is a choice as well. And religious beliefs (i.e., choices) are protected by the U.S. government.

Perhaps we should focus more on the appalling number of young men in U.S. prisons? Or the disproportionate number of minorities in our prison system? Or the enormous strain the prison system is on public funds? Or systemic injustice that manufactures perpetual imprisonment? Or the serious problem of prison rape?

The point is, there are a lot of issues to tackle when looking at the prison system of the United States. When you step back, these problems are staggering. Why on earth would someone seeking public office ignore such problems in favor of raving about men who are surrounded by, and sometimes raped by, other men in prison and how this makes them homosexuals? Can you see how messed up that is?

But, in a larger context, Carson isn’t surprising anyone with these comments. He has claimed many things on CNN, including, but not limited to, that the United States is like Nazi Germany, Obamacare is worse than 9/11, Obamacare is worse than slavery, and that white liberals are racist. He also claimed that the Iran nuclear deal is like Obamacare.

He might be getting a little too excited with comparisons of Obamacare. Surprising, too, as he’s an author. You’d think he’d know that using the same rhetorical technique repeatedly weakens its effect, and can leave everyone questioning the legitimacy of one’s associations.

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