Not enough can be said to describe the remarkable background of Dr. Ben Carson. 

In politics, he is a widely admired giant among conservatives and draws respect from a wide range of those across the political spectrum. In medicine, he is a world-renowned neurosurgeon whose accomplishments have been widely written about and even featured in TV movies. 

Now, after serving as the secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Trump administration, Carson feels led to once again to make a difference by establishing and leading the new American Cornerstone Institute (ACI) – an organization founded with the purpose of building unity throughout the country by “promoting conservative, commonsense solutions to the issues facing our society,” and placing an emphasis on the “cornerstone” principles which include faith, liberty, community, and life. 

One of the institute’s projects, Little Patriots program, brought Carson to Midland this week to speak to students at Midland Christian School – which inspired one student to write a commentary to the Midland Reporter Telegram about the impact Dr. Carson’s speech had on the students.

Carson said in an interview Tuesday that it was very gratifying to read the commentary and to know the students are listening and paying attention because they are the future of our country.

“And you know, I want to make it very clear that our nation didn’t rise to the pinnacle by accident,” Carson said, explaining further points he made to students, “There was a strong correlation between our foundational pillars and what distinguished us from so many other nations in the world. And obviously, in the culture where we have people telling kids the thing that is the most important determinative of what happens to you is the color of your skin -I just want to make the point that we have brains that are much more sophisticated than that. We go far beyond the color of a person’s skin in our analytical abilities.” 

In addition to speaking at Midland Christian School, Carson said he would be speaking to another school this week and elaborated on how those promoting teachings adversarial to the cornerstone principles of America’s founding have done a very good job implementing divisive teachings in early childhood education. 

“That’s why Vladimir Lenin said give me your children to teach for four years and the seed that I plant will never be uprooted,” Carson said, and further explained that “we” need to utilize the same principles and try to make sure children have a solid foundation of understanding of who we are as a nation.

“No nation can long survive if its young people are indoctrinated and told that it’s evil,” Carson said. 

“We’ve been very cognizant of the divisive nature of the things that are being taught to our children, Carson said.

“And you know, there are attempts to create guilt in White students, how does that lead to anything good? And attempts to have minority students think that somehow, they’re being victimized by the system, and that the system was created to maintain a positive position for whites and a negative position for others – what a bunch of garbage,” Carson said. 

Carson continued, saying there are instances that are rare occurrences but then those instances are exaggerated and elevated for the purpose of substantiating the divisive narrative being taught. 

“For instance, when a Black person is shot by White policemen, which is a very rare event, by the way, but when it does occur, you publicize it to the extent that you make people think that this is going on all over the country every day. And then, you know, that reinforces your narrative, you know, that the country is systemically racist and that the police need to be cut down. Why would someone be doing all of this? Because they want to fundamentally change our nation. They want a different type of situation where you have a government centric country,” Carson concluded. 

Right now, Carson explained how his institute is offering a downloadable teaching course for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, with plans to make a middle school level program as well as high school level material available soon, all free of charge. 

Asked if the program would be something parents could ask their local school board to formally adopt, Carson said that would be tremendous but added that the present material is intended to be a supplement to a curriculum — not the entire course. Carson encouraged parents and teachers to look at the material online and said he feels that they will be impressed. 

Carson also spoke about other issues the institute is trying to tackle. 

“There’s so many predominant issues,” Carson said with a chuckle.

“[O]ne of the other really major things that we try to get across is that we the American people are not each other’s enemies. And in order to have a country that functions well, you can look at the symbol of our nation. The bald eagle. It has a right wing and a left wing. I can’t fly with two right wings; you can’t fly with two left wings. But when they work together, it can soar majestically. And that’s what we have to understand as a pluralistic society. It’s all right to have different opinions. As long as you’re respectful of others and as long as you’re respectful of our rules and our laws. People can coexist with different ideas quite easily.” 

Shifting gears, Carson also spoke about life post-Trump Administration, and weighed in on the Biden administration’s current job performance. 

“You know, I had intended to retire, Carson said, “I failed (to retire) the first time.”

Carson went on to explain that it was looking at the policies coming out of the Biden administration that made him “jump back into the fray” because he was afraid the country was really beginning to go downhill very rapidly

“I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself on the golf course or cruising around the world knowing that our country was going down the tubes, you know, particularly with the focus that I’ve had all my life on children and their well-being,” Carson said. 

Carson scrutinized the Biden administration’s bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying the withdrawal was a prime example of not thinking about the ramifications of certain decisions, and addressed the widespread inflation and the harm the increased costs of every day goods are doing to lower income Americans. 

“These are these are things that are a direct result of what was done or not done by the current administration. And you know, it’s my hope. It’s my hope that they will start listening to the voice of the people and look at the suffering that the people are undergoing,” Carson said. 

Carson concluded the interview with sharing a story from how he and his wife decided on the name for the American Cornerstone Institute and how it ties into a historical perspective. 

“My wife was going through a bunch of boxes at her firm, and she came across a box labeled 1993 and she was going to throw it out and then she saw a calendar in there. And it has some very beautiful calligraphy on it, and she opened it up. And it (the calendar) was talking about the laying of the cornerstone for the capitol of the United States in 1793, and this was the 200th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone. And then she examined it even more closely and saw that the cornerstone was laid on September the 18th – which happens to be my birthday.” 

“So that was a confirmatory,” Carson said with a laugh, “it’s supposed to be cornerstone.” 

For more information about Dr. Carson and the American Cornerstone Institute, readers may visit their website at www.americancornerstone.org and the Little Patriots Program can be found at www.littlepatriotslearning.com.

Matt Stringer

Matt Stringer is from Odessa, Texas, and serves as the Editor for Odessa Headlines.