Former basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took pen to paper for Time magazine and wrote an op-ed slamming presidential candidate Ben Carson as good for blacks on the moral front, but bad for them politically.
“Carson is good for African-Americans in that he is a deeply moral man who has done much good as a physician and now wants to upsize his good-doing on a national and global scale,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “His success story is the stuff the American Dream is made of and is motivation for others to follow his path.”
Abdul-Jabbar then spoke of Carson’s “admirable” medical career as motivations for those “young black men and women” hoping to move into careers tied to science. And his morals and principles are worthy of praise, too, he said.
“His measured, even groggy demeanor, commands attention and respect,” Abdul-Jabbar said.
But Carson’s downfall?
“He chose to run for president of the U.S.,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote, “and that’s bad for African-Americans. His repressive, muddled and pious policies and opinions often run against our Constitution – but his questionable proposals will likely, thankfully, be doomed by his lack of political expertise.”
Abdul-Jabbar then painted a Carson presidency as an outright disaster.
“His presidency would be marked by even worse gridlock while he wastes his time trying to impose his narrow and sometimes ill-informed morality on the other 319 million people in the nation,” he wrote. “And it would definitely not be good for African Americans to have a president who flounders helplessly in office because it would perpetuate the stereotype that blacks can’t be effective CEOs, quarterbacks and leaders.”
Abdul-Jabbar then slammed Carson, saying that although he is an accomplished physician, his views on some issues tied to science are nonsensical.
“He has expressed several opinions that are contrary to scientific evidence and therefore call into question his logic – a quality crucial in a president. His claim that sexual orientation is a choice is remarkably unscientific. He has argued that ‘a lot of people’ in prison change their sexual orientation. … According to the American Psychological Association, ‘most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.’ For a physician to ignore the preponderance of scientific proof in favor of his own religious beliefs is dangerous because is it justifies enacting laws that restrict human and civil rights,” he wrote. “Carson has since apologized, but we should never forget that pseudo–science was used to prove blacks were physically and mentally inferior to whites and to justify slavery.”
Abdul-Jabbar also hit Carson for his views of climate change and the fact he drew a link between illegal immigration and a measles’ outbreak in the United States.