Following the violence and three deaths in Charlottesville, Virginia, the political left has lashed out with strong criticism of President Trump and his supporters. Now, extremists have committed vandalism and threats of violence against Trump’s public associates.
Dr. Ben Carson, former Republican presidential candidate and current head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, described in a Facebook post how his home was vandalized by anti-Trump delinquents due to his public support for the President.
Carson shared two experiences in order to promote healing and understanding in the midst of a heated, divisive situation. The first experience took place when Carson and his family first moved to a small farm they purchased in Maryland.
Carson described how when he and his family first arrived at their new home, one of the neighbors put up a Confederate flag as a way of demonstrating his opposition to an African-American family living in the community.
When one of Carson’s friends, an African-American three-star general, saw what happened, he even believed they were in the wrong neighborhood. However, Carson was not combative. Instead, he waited with patience.
To Carson’s surprise, the other neighbors raised American flags on their properties in response to the hostile neighbor’s action. Ashamed, the man took his Confederate flag down. He ended up becoming a good friend of the Carson family.
The other experience Carson shared was more recent and involves backlash to his long-standing support of Donald Trump throughout the 2016 presidential race. Carson details how he and his family were targets of intimidation-tactics.
“More recently our home in Virginia along with that of a neighbor was vandalized by people who also wrote hateful rhetoric about President Trump. We were out of town, but other, kind, embarrassed neighbors cleaned up most of the mess before we returned.”
Carson went on to explain the lesson behind the two experiences, which he believes relate to the state of the country in wake of the three deaths and multiple injuries at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The key is to take the high road, rather than to give into hate, prejudice, or violence. People have the capacity to change for the better.
“In both instances, less than kind behavior was met by people taking the high road. We could all learn from these examples. Hatred and bigotry unfortunately still exists in our country and we must all continue to fight it, but let’s use the right tools.” Regarding the neighbor who had a change of heart, Carson wrote: “That is the likely outcome if we just learn to be neighborly and to get to know each other.”
As reported by the Washington Post, Carson has criticized the media for what he considers an overreaction to and a skewing of Trump’s remarks. He also called the criticism of Trump “little squabbles.”
Soon after ending his bid for the Republican nomination last year, Carson endorsed Trump. The retired neurosurgeon is a popular conservative icon who regularly calls for healing and conciliation between opposing sides.