Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson says traditional politicians have long maneuvered African-American voters for their own ends.
“I think American blacks over the course of next year will begin to see that they’ve been manipulated very, very largely,” he told radio host Mike Gallagher on Tuesday.
“[It is] people telling them what they’re supposed to think and what they’re supposed to say,” Carson said. “I believe that is a dynamic that is in the process of changing.”
“More and more, I’m finding, are thinking for themselves and what works for themselves and their communities,” added Carson, who is African-American.
Carson argued the political establishment’s control over any voting demographic stems largely from media bias.
“I long for the day when the media realizes that the reason that they’re the only business that is protected by the Constitution is because it is intended to be for the people,” he said.
“They weren’t supposed to pick sides, the Democratic side or the Republican side,” Carson said. “You are supposed to be able to trust them. They take advantage of low-information individuals and people who won’t investigate things for themselves.”
Partisanship is severely damaging American society and culture, the retired neurosurgeon added.
“One of the biggest things threatening our nation right now is divisiveness,” he said. “As a wise man once said, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’
“We need a commander in chief that understands that and tries to promote our unity and not our divisions,” Carson added.
Carson was responding to a YouGov poll from last week that found most blacks disagree with his opposition toward the idea of a Muslim presidential candidate.
The poll found 66 percent of African-Americans say it is “unfair” to oppose a political candidate solely because they are Muslim.
After sparking backlash last week with his statements, Carson has since repeatedly argued that he was referring to any White House hopeful who puts Islam’s tenets above the Constitution.