DEWEY HARRISON: Who is Ben Carson

Ben Carson came to town [Ft. Smith, Ark.] last Friday. Some of you are probably asking, “who the heck is Ben Carson?” Ben Carson, a man who could have been trapped by his environment, believes passionately in the promise of America and the American dream. He was here to tell his story.Growing up in a single parent home, Carson experienced poverty, poor grades, temper issues and low self esteem. However, Carson had a dream of becoming a physician and his mother, who had only a third-grade education, challenged and required her sons to strive for excellence. Dr. Ben Carson retired last month as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the esteemed John Hopkins Children’s Center. Carson was the first — and only successful — physician to perform a separation of conjoined [Siamese] twins at the back of the head, first successful separation of type-2 vertical twins and first successful placement of an intrauterine shunt in conjoined twins. Impressive, wouldn’t you say?With five books to his credit, an award winning movie entitled “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, Carson has experienced the American dream. But, there is more to the story. Carson has become a national news story with his criticism of the President’s health care plan.Some of you will remember an uncomfortable President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, when a soft-spoken, articulate gentleman, was given his opportunity to speak and told America of problems in the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] and the shallowness of those who tried to silence dissenting voices.Carson has been proved right. Obamacare has become a nightmare for the president and country. Nancy Pelosi was the only person telling us the truth when she said “we’ll have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.” Today, we have Harry Reed touting the Affordable Care Act as a stepping stone for a single-payer, government-run insurance program — aka socialized medicine. But, Carson was not here to gloat or rail against Obamacare. Carson believes too many Americans have become dependent on government aid, have become at ease with a failed education system and are misguided with respect to celebrity idolatry. Carson, a black man who grew up on the tough streets of Detroit, told the story of a boy who learned at an early age that only he — not the government — and the decisions he made would shape his future. His mom saw to it that he remained focused to reach his goals. I believe Carson was telling us we must fix ourselves before we can fix our government. Individual responsibility, quality education and role models with character are a starting point to reshape our thought processes in an upside down world. And, I believe Carson also would tell us to pray hard.Dewey Harrison of Poteau is retired educator from the Pocola School system. He is also a tea party supporter, occasional fisherman and perpetual pessimist about the current state of affairs. To contact Harrison email him at