Dr. Ben Carson

I am a registered independent, but I have many friends who are Democrats and many who are Republicans. One friend who identifies himself as a Democrat left Alabama at age 16 and headed to Boston in search of employment. He accidentally ended up in Hartford, Conn., and worked in a lowly position as a construction aide for a hotel that was being built. This young black man from Birmingham had a strong work ethic and was gifted with common sense.

Today, he not only owns that hotel, but he also owns many other businesses and is a philanthropist. We do not disagree about most important things, but we have some political disagreements, which have no negative impact on our friendship or our ability to work together on projects. If someone tried to exploit our differences, we would have a hearty laugh at their expense.

Those who spew venom at black conservatives would do well to read about the lives and philosophies of such luminaries as Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and many others who refused to subscribe to the victim mentality.

They should make an attempt to understand what it takes to ascend from the lifestyle of Southern sharecroppers to the office of secretary of state of the United States of America. Perhaps then they would rally to the side of Condoleezza Rice, who achieved this and much more including becoming a concert pianist. When the black community tolerates a group of liberal Rutgers professors who succeeded in disinviting Rice to their commencement because she is a black conservative, they embolden the controlling elites and dramatically minimize accomplishments that any ethnic group should be proud of.

We must fight for the precious hearts and souls of all of our young people. We have to give them the "can-do" attitude that characterized the rapid ascension of America. We must defang the dividers by ignoring them and thinking for ourselves.

I wish the haters and manipulators would take a moment to examine their hearts and motives. I hope they will think about using their intellectual talents for good. They would be wise to ask themselves this question: How much good did being one of the cool guys in high school do in the long run? Let us all give honor to the concepts of hard work, integrity, kindness, compassion, personal responsibility, family values, and faith in and obedience to God.

Many people from all backgrounds gave up their freedom, their blood and even their lives to provide a life of liberty and dignity for those trapped by the chains of legal discrimination and hatred. We must not allow their sacrifice to become meaningless by allowing "do-gooders" to substitute the chains of overt racism with the chains of dependency, low expectations, victimhood and misdirected anger.