Al Sharpton Urges Followers Not to 'Boo' Ben Carson as Neurosurgeon Prepares to Address Tough Crowd at NAN Convention

Ben Carson, Al Sharpton
Renowned neurosurgeon and potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson (L), and civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton. |

NEW YORK — As members of Al Sharpton's National Action Network get ready to hear an address from renowned neurosurgeon and potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson Wednesday afternoon, the civil rights leader urged them at the opening of the organization's convention Wednesday morning to show the doctor respect when he addresses them.

In the run-up to the discussion of Carson's appearance, Sharpton explained that he disagreed with the conservative star on many issues and quipped that he didn't believe that they even agreed that "today is Wednesday."

Many in the audience reacted with disdain at the mention of Carson's name sighing and snickering as a hum of their disapproval filled the room until Sharpton intervened.

"We had Newt Gingrich here one year. So we're going to hear [what Carson has to say] and they want us to heckle and boo. Everyone is wondering: Why is he going to get booed? We're going to show him we can listen. And we make intelligent decisions. … You cannot deal with putting things on the agenda in 2016 elections unless those that are running can be heard and then have to hear us. Is that alright?" Sharpton told a packed room at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in midtown, Manhattan.

Prior to that, he had been discussing some of the organization's current causes, which include advocating for the protection of voting rights and fighting against police brutality and income inequality. Despite being a Christian minister and having a strong Christian following, Sharpton also promoted the need to support advocacy for the LGBT community and the crowd listened quietly.

Carson, in stark contrast, has been an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage and has been the subject of much criticisms in the media for his positions on the subject.

Last month, Carson told CNN that he believed homosexuality is "absolutely" a choice, citing as an example that "a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they're gay. … So, did something happen while they were in there?"

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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