Dr. Ben Caron is a Professor of Neurosurgery, Oncology, Plastic Surgery and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University. At age 33, he became the youngest major division director in Johns Hopkins history, as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery. He is also a Co-Director of The Johns Hopkins Craniofacial Center. He is one of the most prominent neurosurgeons in the country. Additionally, he is one of a handful of African-American neurosurgeons in this country, a surgical speciality notable for a long history of racism and misogyny.
Raised by a single mother, Dr. Carson attended Yale University as an undergraduate, and the University of Michigan School of Medicine.
Inspirational story, no doubt.
But Dr. Carson is not an inspiration to me. You see, Dr. Carson is also an extreme right-wing partisan and bigot.
On February 7, 2013, Dr. Carson drew kudos from the right-wing media for his performance as the keynote speaker at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. During his speech, with President Obama seated only 10 feet away, Dr. Carson launched into a diatribe on several social and fiscal issues including political correctness, education, the national debt, health care and taxation. On political correctness Dr. Carson lectured: "The PC [Politically Correct] Police are out in force at all times ... We have to get over this sensitivity ... PC is dangerous, because you see, this country, one of the founding principles was freedom of thought and freedom of expression. And it [PC] muffles people. It puts a muzzle on them." He then when on to show to everyone not only is he unconcerned with being politically correct, he also is unconcerned about being labeled a lunatic.
During this keynote, Dr. Carson offered the following "thoughtful commentary"; regarding healthcare: "Here's my solution. When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record and a health savings account [HSA], to which money can be contributed, pre-tax from the time you are born, to the time you die. When you die, you can pass it on to your family members". Now, this is a lovely solution if you are Tag Romney...but if you are just about anyone outside of the 1%, this is a ridiculous prescription. And to offer this to President Obama, who knows more about the delivery of healthcare than this self-impressed surgeon, is arrogant beyond measure.
Not content to stop there, Dr. Carson also promoted the flat tax during the same speech. To the amazement of the audience, he did not promote the gold standard or denounce abortion.
But fear not, my fellow Kossacks. Dr. Carson, despite his education at some of the most prestigious universities in the country, does not believe in evolution.
Now, any of these facts about Dr. Carson might noteworthy, but they are not the reason for this diary.
Let's fast forward to this week. Dr. Carson appeared on the Sean Hannity Show. Are alarm bells going off yet????
On the Hannity Show, things got even more 'interesting'. According to David Weigel's post on Slate earlier today, catch this amazing piece of dialogue:
HANNITY: All right, last question, we have the issue of the Supreme Court dealing with two issues involving gay marriage. I've asked you a lot of questions. I've never asked you that, what are your thoughts?When you think of gay marriage, do you think of sodomizing animals or raping children? Dr. Carson does..
CARSON: Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It's a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality. It doesn't matter what they are. They don't get to change the definition. So he, it's not something that is against gays, it's against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has significant ramifications.
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is one of the most highly regarded institutions of medical education in the world. Should the medical students, residents, and fellows, trainees all, be subjected to working with this bigot?
If you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered student, should you have to worry about how Dr. Carson's personal biases might play out in his evaluation of you? Should you have to hide your sexuality around this powerful figure?
Medical school, residency, and fellowship are extremely stressful experiences. Your academic future and career can turn on subjective clinical evaluations, especially by prestigious faculty members like Dr. Ben Carson. If you receive a negative evaluation from someone as hostile to the LGBT community as Dr. Carson, how can you be certain that it is not due to personal animus?
If Dr. Carson wants to stop teaching and move onto Fox News, by all means, move on.
But he SHOULD NOT have any role in training the future physicians.
Please contact the President of Johns Hopkins, Ronald J. Daniels, at:
Phone: (410) 516-8068
Fax: (410) 516-6097
Office of the President
242 Garland Hall
The Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
Also, consider contacting the Dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. Paul Rothman at:
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
600 N. Wolfe Street
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287