Conservative pundit and neurosurgeon Ben Carson told Fox News Sunday that the tension in Ferguson, Mo., "has nothing to do with race."
Carson called in to debate Rev. Jesse Jackson about the unrest following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Jackson called his death a “state of execution.”
“What I do know is that he was shot, shot unarmed, and shot six times,” Jackson told Fox News host Chris Wallace.
“It’s a pattern,” he said naming numerous unarmed black men shot by authorities.
“It seems to me that the police act as judge, jury, and the executioner,” Jackson said.
“Well you know I think the issues are really much bigger than what it’s been portrayed to be,” Carson argued.
“I’ve seen a lot more situations where the police saved the situation,” he said, speaking of his experience inner city Detroit and Boston. “I’m not sure this is a police versus black community issue.”
“As a youngster, you know, I had anger problems also,” he continued. “I tried to stab another youngster with a knife, a belt buckle … anger issues get in the way.”
“If you take race out of the issue altogether and you take a group of young men and you raise them with no respect for authority, not learning to take on personal responsibility, having easy access to drugs and alcohol, they’re very likely to end up as victims of violence and incarceration – Has nothing to do with race,” he said.
“It does have a race dimension,” Jackson argued. “It seems to me that when blacks kill whites, which is rare, it’s swift justice. When whites kill blacks, it’s rebellion. When it’s black on black it’s a struggle that shows a kind of permissiveness. … Racial disparity and alienation and mistrust are very combustible factors.”
The parents of Trayvon Martin are expected to join Brown’s family at a St. Louis rally against police violence on Sunday.
The White House announced that three presidential aides will attend Brown’s funeral on Monday.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore