James Nelson Jr.: Carson’s bad analogy

October 17, 2013 

Recently, many far right people have compared the Affordable Care Act with slavery. One of them should know better: Ben Carson.

Some of Carson’s ancestors were slaves. If those slaves could speak to Carson now, they might tell him what Harriet Jacobs said on page 114 of her revealing book, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”: “What does he know of the half-starved wretches toiling from dawn till dark on the plantations; of mothers shrieking for their children, torn from their arms by slave traders; of pools of blood around the whipping post; of men screwed into cotton gins to die?”

Separated by nearly two centuries from the brutality of slavery, yet benefiting from the sacrifices of descendants of these slaves, Carson seems to know very little history. Slavery’s consequences were often severe whippings, sexual abuse starting in the early teens, dismemberment to runaways caught and a horrible death rarely recorded.

The consequence of failure to abide by the Affordable Care Act will be a tax penalty on a person’s federal income tax. With his ancestors writhing in their graves, Carson, himself, is sadly enslaved to a false belief.

James Nelson Jr.

Raleigh

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