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8/20/2018 6:33 am  #1


In Baltimore, Ben Carson falls from grace

Everyone who associates with Donald Trump ends up diminished.


In the city that claims him, Ben Carson falls from grace

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BALTIMORE (AP) — The portrait used to hang in the hallway, welcoming children and parents to the Archbishop Borders School in Baltimore: a smiling Dr. Ben Carson in surgical scrubs, rubbing together the careful, steady hands that helped him become the nation’s most famous black doctor.

“The person who has the most to do with your success is you,” it reads.

That was before Carson’s presidential bid, before he withdrew from the race and endorsed Donald Trump, and before he was tapped to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was before the president failed to condemn white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia. And before Carson pushed policies critics say walk back civil rights protections for those living in subsidized housing.

“I took it down,” said Principal Alicia Freeman of the portrait she’s since placed out of public view. Although the school, whose student body is majority Hispanic, black and low-income, has a reading room funded by Carson’s foundation, the doctor’s inspirational message now feels hostile, she said.

“He was starting to become offensive.”

Carson’s story of climbing out of poverty to become a world-renowned surgeon was once ubiquitous in Baltimore, where Carson made his name. In some schools his memoir was required reading, an illustration of the power of perseverance. For a working-class, majority African-American city wracked by racial division and neglect — where a baby born in a wealthy white neighborhood is expected to live two decades longer than one in a poor black area — Ben Carson was hope.

But his role in the Trump administration has added a complicated epilogue, leaving many who admired him feeling betrayed, unable to separate him from the politics of a president widely rejected by African-Americans here. In the last presidential election, nearly 85 percent of city voters cast ballots for Hillary Clinton.

“The Trump virus is weakening Ben Carson’s image,” said Bishop Frank Reid, a former pastor at Baltimore’s Bethel AME Church who met Carson at Yale, where both received their bachelor’s degrees. Carson is still respected, Reid said. “But he is no longer the hero he once was.”

Carson declined to be interviewed for this story. Instead, he sent a written statement.

“I understand what it means to be poor because I grew up poor,” the statement said. “I was fortunate to have my mother who was my compass - always steering me on course, helping me to see beyond our circumstances. That’s what I hope to do for the millions of low-income families HUD serves.”

https://www.apnews.com/ff998257e52c4cebb0f54b388cbcd212?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP_Politics&__twitter_impression=true


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
 

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