Dr. Ben Carson headlines Juneteenth celebration in Charlotte

From left to right U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, Dr. Ben Carson, and RNC spokesman Paris Dennard are featured in this photo from the Juneteenth celebration held at Freedom House Church by the Mecklenburg Black Republican Club and the NCGOP's Black Conservative Voices coalition.

CHARLOTTE — Dr. Ben Carson joined a lineup of prominent conservatives on Monday at Freedom House Church in Charlotte. He joined Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, Clarence Henderson, U.S. Reps. Dan Bishop and Ted Budd, and North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley. The event was sponsored by the Mecklenburg Black Republican Club and the NCGOP’s Black Conservative Voices coalition.

Carson, who served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Trump administration, spoke to North State Journal before the event about his latest project and reflected on the importance of Juneteenth. 

He said following the term Trump served in office, his intention was to retire, but said not long after “it became quite apparent that the country was in a downward spiral” and led to his launching of the American Cornerstone Institute. 

“It is a think thank/’do tank,’ focused on the cornerstone principles that elevated us from a ragtag bunch of militiamen to the pinnacle of the world record time. Those pillars would be our faith, liberty, community, and life,” Carson said. “We try to get people to really understand who we are as Americans.” 

One aspect of the institute Carson also talked about was the kids’ program, titled Little Patriots Learning. Carson said it was a free program supported by underwriters and book sales. The goal, he said, was to focus on K-5 students. 

The inspiration for the kids’ program came from Carson’s concern that future generations may not know that the country they live in didn’t come for free and it took many people who came before willing to sacrifice everything in their lives. 

Carson said that the Monday event celebrating Juneteenth was, foremost, “a celebration of freedom” and emancipation from a mindset. 

“You just think of it as a fact that it took two and a half years for that news to reach certain parts of our country, including in Texas. But the great thing was it penetrated all the barriers and everybody knows that all men are created equal and that all men are entitled to the freedoms that we talk about and our Declaration of independence,” Carson said about what Juneteenth meant to him. 

That message – freedom – also led to Carson talking about the awakening he sees traveling across the country. 

“I think people are starting to recognize that tremendous advantages that we have in our country and starting to understand that this is not so much about Democrats and Republicans as it is about the American way of life and socialism/communism. Those are systems of government in which the people are not free and have an overruling body. It tells you how to live, where you can live, what you can say, what you can do. And we’ve seen flashes of that throughout the whole COVID situation. And I think it’s waking people up when they realize we don’t want to go there,” said Carson. 

He also offered a message that he hopes will resonate with all Americans. 

“I really want to help the American people understand that we’re not each other’s enemies,” Carson said. “Just like the eagle: the eagles has a left wing and a right wing. He can’t fly with two left wings. He can’t fly (with) two right. Wings can swim majestically when they work together.”