Surely the facts will be swiftly converted into neo-fascist memes
Johns Hopkins University has already decided to retain Dr. Ben Carson (see picture above) as a commencement speaker, despite opposition from a majority of graduating students in the School of Medicine, according to a knowledgeable source.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Washington Blade that Johns Hopkins will keep Carson as speaker despite a petition signed by a majority of the graduating class calling him an “inappropriate choice” — and said the school will formally make the announcement later this week. The university’s public affairs office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Anonymity is de rigeur when “controversy” is involved.
Needless to by by keeping him on the program Johns Hopkins should expect their commencement ceremonies to go something like this:
The university told Talking Points Memo last week that Carson, considered a rising star in the Republican Party, would be retained despite comments he made comparing the movement to legalize same-sex marriage to pedophilia and bestiality. But the university had yet to weigh in after a Thursday statement from Media Matters quoting the original petitioners as saying a “majority of the graduating class” had signed on as well as “close to 700 signatures.”
That Carson has become “a rising star in the Republican Party” only goes to show how desperate that party has become in the wake of massive and continuing electorial losses. As I have pointed out in a recent FaBlog the speech that set “Conservative” hearts aflutter was fairly plainwrap. Just a brief run-through of the usual “talking points” about “personal accounts” being preferable to well-established governmental programs like Medicare and Social Security — with of course no indication as to how ordinary middle-class citizens struggling in this economy are going to amass the funds to make such accounts viable.
The thing that excted Tea Partiers so much was the fact that he was making this speech right in front of President Obama (!) — at that assenine right-wing “prayer breakfast” that Presidents have for some time been “required” to attend. Suddenly FAUX “News” was breathlessly “reporting” on calls for a man who has never held elected office run for the Presidency. Easy to se how it works: “He’s black but he’s one of us !” and thereby imperious to criticism lest one be “accused of racism”
Well no — for was the Washington Blade continues–
In an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Carson said he believes marriage is one man, one woman — a definition that he called “a well-established fundamental pillar of society. ”
“And no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association,) be they people who believe in bestiality — it doesn’t matter what they are — they don’t get to change the definition,” Carson continued.
In a later interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Carson apologized “if anybody was offended” and said he’d be open to withdrawing as speaker if the students didn’t want him. Carson didn’t immediately respond to the Washington Blade’s request for comment.
No surprise there.
One of the original petition signers, Carl Streed, who represents the School of Medicine in the leadership of the Gertrude Stein Society, a group of more than 300 students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Hopkins Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health who work to promote LGBT issues on campus, declined to comment.
I very much doubt that Ben would have pleased Gertrude.
As for the Dean of Medical Faculty at Johns Hopkins —
Controversial social issues are debated in the media on a regular basis, and yet it is rare that leaders of an academic medical center will join that type of public debate. However, we recognize that tension now exists in our community because hurtful, offensive language was used by our colleague, Dr. Ben Carson, when conveying a personal opinion. Dr. Carson’s comments are inconsistent with the culture of our institution.
Johns Hopkins Medicine embraces diversity and believes that the same civil rights should be available to all regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. For example, the Johns Hopkins University has provided benefits for same-sex domestic partners since 1999 and has long maintained a policy against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Dr. Carson is well known for his accomplishments as a neurosurgeon and for his contributions to the Baltimore community. While his recent comments are inconsistent with our core values, Dr. Carson has the right to participate in public debates and media interviews and express his personal opinions on political, social and religious issues. We strongly value freedom of expression and affirm Dr. Carson’s right, as a private citizen, to state his personal views.
We have been carefully listening to the varied opinions expressed by members of our community in response to Dr. Carson’s comments. It is clear that the fundamental principle of freedom of expression has been placed in conflict with our core values of diversity, inclusion and respect. We are trying to thoughtfully work through these issues, and as part of that process, we will be meeting with graduating students on Monday.
Those who work and study here, and the patients we serve, create a rich tapestry of people from all races, religions and backgrounds. Commitment to diversity, inclusion, and freedom of expression is at the heart of our standing as a world leader in medical care, research and education.
Paul B. Rothman, M.D.
Dean of the Medical Faculty
CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine
AND THEN —
Dear Colleagues, Friends and Associates:
As you know, I have been in the national news quite a bit recently and my 36 year association with Johns Hopkins has unfortunately dragged our institution into the spotlight as well. I am sorry for any embarrassment this has caused. But what really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology. Hurting others is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I believe. There are many lessons to be learned when venturing into the political world and this is one I will not forget. Although I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, there are much less offensive ways to make that point. I hope all will look at a lifetime of service over some poorly chosen words.
Benjamin S Carson Sr MD
See? It was simply a “poor choice of words.” Next time he’ll think of better ways to express his roiling hatred of the LGBT community.
Jo Stafford will sing us out