Retired neurosurgeon and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson said Monday that the "Black Lives Matter" movement is being used by its "white liberal funders" for political gain and that the group is focused on the "wrong targets."
In a now viral op-ed the conservative star penned for USA Today Monday, Carson explained that focusing on targets like 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is not the way to bring about real change for blacks in America.
"The idea that disrupting and protesting Bernie Sanders speeches will change what is wrong in America is lunacy," wrote Carson in the opening sentence of his op-ed.
"The 'BlackLivesMatter' movement is focused on the wrong targets, to the detriment of blacks who would like to see real change and to the benefit of its powerful white liberal funders using the attacks on Sanders for political purposes that mean nothing for the problems that face our community," continued Carson.
"The notion that some lives might matter less than others is meant to enrage. That anger is distracting us from what matters most. We're right to be angry, but we have to stay smart," he added.
Carson then went on to list a number of targets encompassing the education, media and political establishment.
"Let's head down to the board of education. Teaching is a tough job and thank God there was a teacher who convinced me that I was not dumb, but our schools are failing and we have no power to abandon them. The actions of rogue police officers take black lives one at a time. Our public school system has destroyed black lives not in the ones and twos, but in whole generations," said Carson.
"Let's confront the entertainment industry that lines its pockets by glamorizing a life where black men are thugs and our women are trash. Let's tell them we plan to start talking with our wallets," Carson continued before pointing to ways in which he thinks both Democrats and Republicans could improve on how they engage the black community.
"We should have a talk with the Democratic Party. Let's tell them, we don't want to be clothed, fed and housed. We want honor and dignity," wrote Carson. "We don't want a plan to give us public housing in nice neighborhoods. We want an end to excuses for schools that leave us without the means to buy our own houses where we choose to live. We want the skills needed to compete, not a consolation prize of Section 8, Food Stamps and a lifetime of government paperwork."
He added: "We need to go over to the Republican Party. We need to tell them they have ignored us for too long. They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate and find a different way."