Ben Carson is speaking at Alma College, the beloved alma mater of one of my dear friends, for their annual Honors Day and some of the faculty at the university are quite unhappy about that. They just published an open letter objecting to Carson’s speech for very good reasons:
Our position has nothing to do with whether a speaker is liberal or conservative, nor would this be as much a concern if an individual or campus group sponsored the event. We accept that he has his admirers. However, the college itself is sponsoring this event.
It does not take away from Dr. Carson’s impressive earlier career to insist that many of his more recent statements are at odds with our values as an institution. His assertion that Obamacare is as bad as slavery and comparing the United States to Nazi Germany are ahistorical. His labeling the president a psychopath is not just at odds with basic civil discourse in an academic community, but is not supported by any commonly accepted form of psychological analysis, nor is his assertion that homosexuality is a choice based on the supposed conversion of inmates’ sexual orientation while in prison. Comparing the passionate commitment of ISIS fighters with that of the founding fathers of the United States and suggesting that the new Advanced Placement history curriculum could lead one to want to join ISIS are similarly not examples of the critical thinking we seek to encourage in students.
That paragraph could have been much longer, of course. Carson has spent the last year making one outrageous and inane claim after another.