Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson spent his Sunday morning at the church of a Des Moines civil rights activist.
The former pediatric brain surgeon shared stories of his rise from inner-city poverty and posed solutions for a more promising future for America’s youth.
The Rev. Keith Ratliff, former president of the Iowa & Nebraska branch of the NAACP, called Carson an inspiration for the youth in his community. He also said Carson, the lone African-American among 15-plus viable GOP candidates, could reverse negative views some minorities hold toward the Republican Party.
“The Republican party has a stigma and a perception in the minority community that they’re anti-minority or anti-black,” said Ratliff, pastor at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church. “Him being involved as a Republican helps to dismiss some of the perceptions.”
He said some minorities won’t consider Carson because of the party, but he also offered criticism of the Democratic Party.
“In the recent decade or so, Democrats have taken minorities for granted in that we need to surely make sure we listen every one of them regardless of party,” he said.
Ratliff, who is registered as a Republican, calls himself an independent voter and “very conservative Christian” who has historically voted Democratic.
He referred to Carson as a viable candidate but added that it’s too early for him to decide who will get his vote.
Carson said after the service that he has no intention of winning minorities over to a party, when asked by reporters.
SOURCE: Timothy Meinch
Des Moines Register