Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Sorry, Ben Carson is Not a Black Confederate

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on September 29, 2015

On Monday, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson appeared at an event with racing legend Richard Petty. While there, Carson was asked about the Confederate Battle Flag:


Carson told the AP that NASCAR fans should continue flying the flag “if it’s private property and that’s what they want to do.”

He also acknowledged the flag remains “a symbol of hate” for many black people and compared it to the Nazi swastika.

“Swastikas are a symbol of hate for some people, too. And yet they still exist in museums and places like that,” Carson said, describing the decision about flying the flag “a local issue.” `’If it’s a majority of people in that area who want it to fly, I certainly wouldn’t take it down.”


So, Carson takes the position that (1) people can fly it from their private property, (2) whether or not to display it elsewhere is a local decision, and (3) it’s a “symbol of hate” for many, comparable to the Nazi swastika.

Naturally, the SHPG folks see Carson’s statement as suggesting support for the Virginia Flaggers:


I’d like to hear from the Virginia Flaggers about this news report. This stance sounds like Ben Carson supports the roadside battle flag strategy.


Reading comprehension: what is it?



14 Responses

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  1. OhioGuy said, on September 29, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Dr. Carson, who I’ve had a great deal of respect for since I first became acquainted with him through the Christian Medical Society, has a streak of libertarianism in him. Though I haven’t seen the clip, I suspect his main point was just that people have a right to be stupid and insensitive. I don’t think he would ever support the flaggers, only tolerate them as part of a diverse society. Democracy is messy!

    • OhioGuy said, on September 30, 2015 at 9:13 am

      I see no flaggers have taken up your challenge and responded. I think your query kind of caught them off guard as they were already up and running with their misinterpretation of Dr. Carson’s remarks. Misinterpretation of history is the hallmark of their movement, so why should we expect them to get contemporary issues correct?

      • Andy Hall said, on September 30, 2015 at 9:28 am

        I didn’t really think of my blog post as a challenge — unless it was challenging them to understand what the man actually said — but, anyway.

        Carson’s comments are exactly what I’d expect most candidates to say. I personally try to avoid Nazi analogies, because they inflame more than they inform, but otherwise there’s nothing there that I disagree with. How one can imagine, though, that Carson’s comments reflect support for putting up big Confederate flags all over the countryside is beyond me.

        In the meantime, the Virginia Flaggers are ratcheting up their rhetoric that their flag-raisings are as much about retribution against communities that have rebuffed them, as it is about anything else.

  2. Leo said, on October 8, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I’ve seen a mixed bag of reactions from flag supporters here in Mississippi. Some apparently took his statement as a spite to all confederate flag displays and vowed to not vote for him while others seemed to overlook the nazi reference and think he is 100% in support of their cause.

    It takes all kinds.

    • OhioGuy said, on October 8, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      So many today do not understand nuance at all. You are either 100 percent in agreement with them or your the enemy. Sounds like 1861 all over again! ;-(

      • Andy Hall said, on October 8, 2015 at 9:37 pm

        True enough, but it’s not like Carson was using a dog-whistle; he’s not that slick a politician. It’s just a matter of recognizing what he said and (equally important) what he didn’t.

        • OhioGuy said, on October 8, 2015 at 10:26 pm

          Case in point: his recent comments in answer to a question about what he’d do if faced with a shooter like in the Oregon situation. He said, he’d try to rush the shooter and if others who were being threatened did the same thing at the same time the number of deaths might be reduced. This was twisted into an insult to the Oregon victims. This has less to do with his political savvy and more to do with the aforementioned lack of willingness to look at nuance. You either agree 100 percent with the PC take on this incident or you are the enemy and you are totally insensitive.

  3. OhioGuy said, on October 8, 2015 at 10:58 pm


    At least my ancestors fought to preserve the Union. Maybe that was a mistake. 😉

    • OhioGuy said, on October 9, 2015 at 10:17 am

      This is strange, Andy, I was replying to a sarcastic post of yours in which you ask why did I hate America. What happened to that post? It now looks like I’m laughing at myself instead of at your joke.

      • Andy Hall said, on October 9, 2015 at 10:36 am

        I took it down, as I worried it might be misunderstood.

        So, why DO you hate America?

        • OhioGuy said, on October 9, 2015 at 10:42 am

          You’re confused . . . I only hate unreconstructed rebels and those who like to silence debate, be they liberal, conservative, libertarian, or whatever.

          • Andy Hall said, on October 9, 2015 at 10:43 am

            “You’re confused . . . ”

            Wouldn’t be the first time.

            • OhioGuy said, on October 9, 2015 at 12:38 pm

              Two observations:

              1. I confuse a lot of people, so you are not alone.

              2. You seem about as off-the-wall with your sense of humor as am I. Does it get you in trouble sometimes? It does me.

  4. OhioGuy said, on October 9, 2015 at 10:34 am

    I have a related question that perhaps someone on this blog might know the answer to. I checked on several of my favorite genealogical sites and tried to discover if Ben Carson has any USCT ancestors. I could only find one post about his family history and that one was about a g3grandfather who was actually born in Africa and died in the U.S. as a slave. The author, who was apparently an expert on African American genealogy, said that in her experience it was very rare for an African American to be able to trace even one ancestor back to Africa. I got the impression that the writer had been employed several years ago by the Carson family to do this research. So, does anyone know about Civil War era history in the Carson family? And, to tie into this thread, I’ll posit that he has no black Confederate ancestors! 😉

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