I’m not usually one to take a celebrity’s point of view on issues, but this long form OpEd written by six-time NBA champion and league MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on how bad a president GOP hopeful Ben Carson would be is amazing.
The piece opens up in a kind enough way, using Abdul-Jabbar history within the Black community as a launching point to connect with readers.
“Ben 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,” writes the former NBA MVP. “His success story is the stuff the American Dream is made of and is motivation for others to follow his path. ”
But before long Abdul-Jabbar stops mincing words and gets the heart of his concerns for a Carson presidency.
“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,” he wrote, calling the primary candidate “bad for African-Americans.” Abdul-Jabbar suggested the candidate’s far-right policies would only slow down an already painfully slow political process and lead to him being “a president who flounders helplessly in office” perpetuating “the stereotype that blacks can’t be effective CEOs, quarterbacks and leaders.”
About midway through the write up is where Abdul-Jabbar really hits it home for the LGBTQ folks in the US:
Although Carson is a celebrated physician,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. As many people have pointed out, sexual behavior is not the same as orientation.
Plus, studies indicate the most significant causes of sexual orientation are genetics and in utero hormonal exposure. 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. 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.