The renowned neurosurgeon’s humble beginnings in Motown are never far from his thoughts. As his hometown gains an emergency manager to fix its fiscal crisis, Carson warns of the larger cultural crises that threaten Detroit’s children.
Raised by a single mother, Carson says his family situation was the exception to the rule in the 1950s. Today, absent fathers are an epidemic — 80 percent of Detroit children are raised in single-parent homes — at the center of Detroit’s pathologies: Child poverty, low high school graduation rates, 49 percent adult illiteracy, sky-high crime rates.
“It wasn’t anywhere near that intense in the inner cities back during the time when you had intact families,” Carson says of his childhood. “It didn’t have so much to do with the economic status as it did with whether or not you had that intact nuclear family. When you don’t have that, you’re like a ship out to sea without a rudder.”
“We’ve pretty much given away our sense of values for the sake of political correctness,” Carson laments. “In a politically correct world, there is no gold standard in terms of a family situation. If (youth) don’t have a well-established, intact family with lots of good values, they’re going to get them from . . . negative peers.”
He sees America’s behemoth, family-busting welfare state as the root of the problem.
“There is your elite group of intellectuals who pass judgment on everything. They see the people who are on the lower end of society and they say ‘you little poor thing’ and they pat you on the head and say, ‘we’re going to take care of you,’” he says. “Of course, that just enables them to remain in that situation without real incentive to improve themselves. You need a lower class in order for you to be the elite intellectual.”
You can read more of this fascinating interview in Detroit News
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