When Republican presidential hopeful Ben CarsonBen CarsonSunday shows preview: Multiple states detect cases of the omicron variant Race is not central to Rittenhouse case — but the media shout it anyway Trump endorses primary challenger to Peter Meijer in Michigan MORE moved into a neighborhood in Maryland, a neighbor responded by flying the Confederate flag "as a message to us," he told CNN on Wednesday.
"One of our friends, a black general coming over, he came through the driveway and he turned around and said 'I'm in the wrong place,' " Carson, the only black presidential candidate in either party, said on "New Day."
"But the interesting thing is all the neighbors immediately put up American flags and shamed this individual, and he took it down."
Carson connected his experience to the current debate over the merits of flying the flag after last week's shooting in Charleston, S.C. that killed nine congregants in a historically black church. South Carolina's governor has called on the state legislature to move the flag off the state Capitol grounds.
The South Carolina move has sparked a debate around the country about whether other symbols of the confederacy should be removed.
Carson said Americans need to 'send the right messages to each other" and not simply "turn a blind eye." He penned an opinion piece in USA Today earlier this week where he slammed other potential GOP presidential candidates who didn't call the Charleston shooting racist.
He told CBS46 in Atlanta in an interview that aired Tuesday night that he wouldn't "necessarily" keep the flag flying if had a say but added that it’s a state issue.
Carson also added that President Obama's use of the N-word in order to underscore the idea that racism is far from over in America was not "presidential."
"I don’t think it's very presidential, but he certainly has a right to do it if that’s the way he feels," Carson told CBS46.