Talk:Ben Carson

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Ben Carson:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:

    come on people, no reason we can't make this a better article.

    1. Birth - Where was he born
    2. Marriage and Family: What's his spouse's name
    3. Education - Where did he go to school? (wasn't it yale?)
    4. Sources - We need sources
    5. Early Life
    6. Medical Contributions
    7. Expand Aricle

    #Add Picture/Photo

    1. Expand the Intro per WP:LEAD (one or two paragraphs summarizing article)
    2. Give it a good read through
    3. copyedit
    4. Peer Review request to Biography workgroup
    5. Review WP:WIAGA
    6. After todo completion, submit for GA

    This man is amazing and deserves feature article status WP:FA. Let's do what we can to improve this. --Maniwar (talk) 16:35, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

    This article was listed on Wikipedia:Votes for deletion and the consensus was keep: see Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Ben Carson

    I removed the link since it is no longer upVickfan This link is now working (checked 7/17/2007) Teamember 02:48, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

    Logic Party[edit]

    While in principal I dig the idea, I have a really hard time buying it from a guy who is a Seventh Day Adventist. Such a belief system for a neurosurgeon is...illogical. Quigonpaj (talk) 19:34, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

    Removal of the word 'evangelical'[edit]

    I'm copying this here from my talk page:

    "I kind of disagree with your edit summary, here. Would you care to expound on why you think he is not actually an evangelical? Possible at Talk:Ben Carson. Cheers, Ansell 07:13, 18 October 2006 (UTC)}}"

    I simply removed the word "evangelical" that said Ben Carson was an evangelical Christian. For years the evangelical movement labeled Seventh-day Adventists (SDA's) as a cult and wanted nothing to do with them. SDA's, although they believe in evangelism, they do not consider themselves evangelicals and neither does anyone else; Just like Baptist's don't consider themselves to be evangelicals. Ben Carson considers himself a devout Christian and an Adventist, but to throw the word evangelical really is an assumption and is POV. If you can show me otherwise, I truly stand and differenciate evangelicals and SDA's. --Maniwar (talk) 12:11, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

    Actually Baptists do consider themselves to be Evangelical. [1] Chryslerfan (talk) 17:50, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

        • Probably should be noted somewhere on the page that he is an outspoken 'creationist'. That should get fun come 'entry into politics' time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 23 February 2013 (UTC)


    I went ahead and removed the quotes section of the article. None of the quotes seemed too terribly important to the article, and no citations were provided for any of them. —Mears man 00:50, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

    Questions about Ben Carson[edit]

    Ben Carson's mother (Sonya Carson) to be so successful

    1. ^ SBC. "Global Evangelical Relations". SBC Net. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 

    —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

    What is the question about Carson or his mother? drs (talk) 14:47, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

    everything here[edit]

    is sourced from publications by the author. I intend to remove anything that cannot be sourced from third party sources. DGG (talk) 05:45, 31 January 2008 (UTC) someone seems to have done it a little too enthusiastically. I have removed the most irrelevant part. I ask again for sources on the rest, reminding everyone of WP:BLP and WP:V. DGG (talk) 07:02, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

    Sources for the further development of the Ben Carson article[edit]

    Information about Carson included in this source
    p. 38
    Single mother with a third grade education
    Director of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins
    1987, operated on Siamese twins attached at the back of the head.
    p. 41
    wife Candy, he met as a student at Yale University
    performs between 400-500 surgeries a year
    p. 130
    picture of family with names. Candy, three sons Murray, Rhoyce and B.J., and mother Sonya
    prays before every surgery
    also, this articles describes the impact Carson prostate cancer had on him.
    submitted by drs (talk) 15:31, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
    Information about Carson from this source
    Ben Carson grew up with his brother Curtis, poor, in the ghetto of a big industrial American city.
    His mother was one of a family of 24 children growing up in Tennessee.
    At the age of 13, she ran off with a preacher, married him, and they moved to Detroit, where he found work in one of the big factories there.
    Their two children, Ben and Curtis, adored their father. He used to take them to visit some other children he knew. Then it turned out that Dad was a bigamist and those children were his other family. Ben's mother turfed his father out.
    Mother had to raise early teenaged boys. She was illiterate but wise. Mother decided not to go on welfare because, as Ben says, she had observed that people who went on welfare invariably failed to get off it.
    Ben started acting up at school. He had a very bad temper. He could erupt.
    Mother was ambitious for her boys, however, and she rationed them to two television programmes a week and made them visit the public library, where they had to borrow two books a week each, read them and write her a report on them. She was stern about this. There was no shirking it. The boys would write their book reports for her and their mum would pretend to read them, although she could not, of course, but she pretended to. These boys were going to get an education. This was the mid-60s.
    Ben found, through the reading, which is why he travels the world promoting reading, that he started to get really interested in stuff. Before his mum's library regime Ben was always bottom of his class. His classmates called him Dummy. With the reading, his grades started improving and within 18 months he was top of his class.
    Somewhere around this time he discovered God in his life, a faith he retains to this day and shares with his wife, Candy.
    Next thing he wins a scholarship to Yale and he's doing a degree in psychology, after which he realises that he's always wanted to be a doctor so off he goes to medical school, after which he heads into neurosurgery and discovers his life's passion.
    Ben Carson is a holder of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
    At the age of 33, this young man from Detroit is appointed the head of paediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, the finest, most brilliant hospital in the United States.
    One of his earliest and greatest accomplishments was to lead a team of more than 70 in a 22- hour operation to separate 7-month-old German twins conjoined at the back of their heads. It was an operation of exhausting precariousness never done before.
    Also, in those days, when you separated conjoined twins, the doctor had generally to decide which one you were going to let die. In this case, both twins survived.
    When they went back to Germany, their dad couldn't cope, he ran off, mother didn't cope and they became wards of the state.
    When that operation was finished, after the 22 desperate hours, Carson and his major colleague - they had each worked on one of the twins after separation - went back to Ben's office and before they each finished a sentence they'd both fallen sleep, not to wake up for some three hours.
    Ben Carson's message about children and reading
    Carson says the more we know about the incredible human brain, the less we know. He says the most normal, ordinary brain can achieve the most remarkable things. This is why we have to invest in our children. Turn off the television and get them reading. He says a person who is a dedicated reader is a person who will achieve in life. Reading fills the brain.
    Carson's message about personal responsibility
    But he's got another message he received from his wonderful mother. The person who will have the most important effect and influence on our lives is ourselves. No one else. If we want to do well and have successful, rewarding and productive lives, we must do it ourselves, take charge of ourselves.We cannot blame others.

    Keynote speech at the National Prayer Breakfast[edit]

    President Obama and the First Lady heard Dr Benjamin Carson take exception to many current administration policies and positions. He delivered his thoughts on a wide range of issues in a light-hearted and positive manner at the annual National Prayer Breakfast. With his comments, he has entered the universe of 'politics' whether he wants to or not. Where it goes from here "will yet be seen" . . . [1]

    Here are the comments from a leader in the Conservative Movement: (You can read the comments of Rush Limbaugh via his website,

    RUSH: Whoa! Right on. Did you hear that? This guy is talking to Obama. Obama's sitting there, and Dr. Carson is saying, "People say... 'Well, that's not fair because it doesn't hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made ten.' Where does it say you have to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot!" So this neurosurgeon is speaking out in favor of the 1%, the 5%, the 10% who are actually paying the freight in this country via income taxes. They're the ones actually paying the freight. What do we gotta hurt 'em for? I mean, they're already putting money in the pot. Why do we gotta hurt 'em?

    He's exactly right. And then he says: You want to know why we got 602 banks in the Caymans with American money? Because they're running away. They don't want to be hurt.

    I love this guy. He wasn't finished, either.

    CARSON: Here's my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed -- pretax -- from the time you're born 'til the time you die. When you die, you can pass it on to your family members, so that when you're 85 years old and you got six diseases, you're not trying to spend up everything. You're happy to pass it on and there's nobody talking about death panels.

    AUDIENCE: (laughter and applause) [2]Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 12:25, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

    Can we link to the transcript? Where can you find a transcript of his keynote? Very few places!

    One place is . . . which is "black-listed" on Wikipedia. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 01:32, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

    Activity plans after retiring in June[edit]

    As I watched the Glenn Beck program today, I wrote what Dr Benjamin Carson said as he was interviewed:

    “I’m retiring in June; I have lots [planned] on my agenda; politics is not one of them; but if God grabs me by the collar, I am not one that would refuse.”
    Dr Benjamin Carson is such a great man. I'll watch for a direct reliable source. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 22:42, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
    Most interesting, a public relations model for the promotion of "up by the boot strappers" movement. A story to be milked. --Wikipietime (talk) 20:18, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

    Social Political Views Prior to Obama's Administration[edit]

    Could someone please add some information about his public views prior to Obama's administration. Was he pro-Iraq war and pro-spending during the Bush administration? What has he expressed in the past publicly? He's been an adult for some time now yet very little is listed in this page. Thanks. (talk) 07:53, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

    Ben Carson speech at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Convention [CPAC][edit]

    Rand Paul won the straw poll for president; Ben Carson won their hearts! Conservatives are very excited about the wisdom and clarity that comes from Dr Carson. Here are four references: [3] "Ben Carson at CPAC"; [4] “Did Ben Carson Hint at a 2016 Run for President During CPAC Speech?”; [5] “DR. BEN CARSON RALLIES CONSERVATIVES AT CPAC, HINTS AT WHITE HOUSE RUN”; and, from the WSJ, [6] “Ben Carson for President — The Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon has two big ideas for America.” — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 10:14, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

    Carson support network[edit]

    Ben Carson's article reads like a marketing plant. Who is his agent? Wikipietime (talk) 03:20, 21 April 2013 (UTC)


    The subject of this article has not yet retired, although it is announced. It is stated in reliable sources that he plan to retire, but doesn't give a specific date. Therefore, do not state that he has retired per WP:CRYSTALBALL, let us wait until a reliable source has verified that the retirement has occurred.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 00:35, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

    Discussion at Biographies of Living Persons Noticeboard[edit]

    BLPN discussion here.Anythingyouwant (talk) 05:46, 16 August 2013 (UTC)


    Regarding gay marriage, this article contains negative material (e.g. "nasty, petty, and ill-informed"), which is fine. I'm not a censor trying to skew Wikipedia content, and therefore am not suggesting to remove any negative material. But this article gives no clue that Carson favors equal rights to a considerable degree, and no clue that his comments were compared to those of a famous Democratic judge. We could add:

    Carson has clarified that outside of "marriage" he believes "gay people should have all the rights anyone else has". Meanwhile, Megyn Kelly of Fox News compared Carson's controversial remark to a recent concern expressed by Justice Sonya Sotomayor.

    Cites: Kelly, Megyn, America Live with Megyn Kelly, Fox News (March 29, 2013), Fox News Video (accessed August 16, 2013).

    "Group of Johns Hopkins Med School Students Want Dr. Ben Carson Replaced as Commencement Speaker After Gay Marriage Comments"", Fox News Insider (March 29, 2013).

    These sources are reliable news stories.Anythingyouwant (talk) 00:04, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

    Currently, the article describes a notable episode in which Carson's comments on gay marriage led to a (successful) effort by people at his institution to have him removed as commencement speaker. We describe this episode using news pieces from non-partisan reliable sources (Washington Post, Baltimore Sun). We give Carson himself the final word on his own views, quoting him directly and again using news pieces from non-partisan reliable sources. That seems appropriate to me.

    I'm not seeing the need to artifically "balance" our coverage of this controversy by adding the opinion of a cable-news talking head. Carson's comments were widely remarked upon by cable-news talking heads of all partisan stripes. Why highlight only Megyn Kelly's take? If we choose to go down this road (which I think would be a mistake), then we're obligated to provide a more representative sampling of reactions, rather than just selecting an apologist viewpoint from FoxNews.

    Finally, it seems you've already raised this proposal at WP:BLP/N, where outside editors thought it wasn't an improvement and in fact introduced significant BLP concerns ([7]). MastCell Talk 04:47, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

    Your comment suggests to me that it is pointless to argue. The edit that I drafted quotes Carson himself explaining that he generally supports gay rights, something that is not remotely suggested by what's in the Wikipedia article now. Moreover, your disparaging comments about both written and spoken news reports from Fox (as mere "talking heads") bode ill for any rational compromise. So, we will let the article continue to slant what happened, to suppress Carson's expressed views, and to only quote a third party who calls him "nasty, petty, and ill-informed". This is precisely the outcome I expected as of 05:26, 16 August 2013. This article is removed from my Watchlist.Anythingyouwant (talk) 07:26, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
    The section doesn't quote only a third party; it also quotes Carson himself, extensively. If the "nasty, petty, and ill-informed" quote is bothering you, then it could be removed with the general sense retained (namely, that his remarks were condemned as offensive by people at his institution, from students all the way up to the dean). MastCell Talk 05:11, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

    November 2013[edit]

    I've put in a new top image, and moved the old one down. Also organized the political section chronologically. Replaced some redundant material in the gay marriage material (he loves everyone the same) with a quote where he clarifies that outside of "marriage" he believes "gay people should have all the rights anyone else has".Anythingyouwant (talk) 07:07, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

    February 2013, March 2013, etc.[edit]

    This page is looking like Carson's personal website. I don't think his wikipage is supposed to include month-to-month status reports on Carson's latest speaking engagements. Thus, removing them. --Petzl (talk) 01:53, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

    I restored the material with better headings. I'm open to deleting it all, but I haven't yet seen any good arguments for that. This material describes his political views, which otherwise would not be included in this Wikipedia article.Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:06, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
    Its not the headings themselves that is the issue. Changing the headings doesn't change the content. These events are described in laborious, extraneous detail. It's fine for Carson's website, but it's just not appropriate here. There's too many quotes. Then, there's too many third-party comments on his quotes; eg, "Conservative commentators from Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto of Fox News praised the speech as speaking 'truth to power.'" Or: "Carson urges people to recognize..." It sounds like a right-wing press release: instead of communicating his political views, one gets the feeling that his views are being defended/expounded. --Petzl (talk) 02:33, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
    That sounds like a good reason to cut the fat, rather than cutting everything. I've got no problem if you want to try making it more concise and neutral, or you can suggest revisions here at the talk page.Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:44, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
    How is the "default" position to leave it "as is"? If someone wants to filter it to a few paragraphs, that would be fine (eg, this article seems to strike the right balance). As it is, what's currently there shouldn't be there.--Petzl (talk) 06:09, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

    (Outdent)Well, I guess the best place for you to look would be WP:Preserve: "Instead of deleting text, consider:

    • rephrasing or copyediting to improve grammar, more accurately represent the sources, or balance the article's contents
    • correcting inaccuracy, while keeping the rest of the content intact
    • moving the information to another existing article or splitting the information to a new article
    • adding more of what you think is important to make an article more point-of-view balanced
    • requesting a citation by adding the {{cn}} tag, or adding any other Template:Inline tags as appropriate
    • doing a quick search for sources and adding a citation yourself
    • adding appropriate cleanup tags to sections you cannot fix yourself
    • repair a dead link if a new URL for the page or an archive of the old one can be located
    • merging the entire article into another article with the original article turned into a redirect as described at performing a merge".Anythingyouwant (talk) 06:47, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

    I agree with Anythingyouwant. Most of the content that you removed is notable and supported by multiple reliable sources establishing that. The article doesn't appear to list every speech or event, but just the ones that have garnered attention due to some notoriety or criticism he's received from them. Unless there is clear violation of Wikipedia policy, there is no justification for a mass deletion. Rather, this appears to be a difference of opinion in which case you should establish the consensus of editors here before making large changes like that. - Maximusveritas (talk) 20:02, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

    If you think there are more quotations that should be included I'm open to that. I've kept almost all of his direct quotations on the given topics. I agree it might be too sparse as it stands now, but this seems to be preferable to including everything up to the Breakfast Menu at the National Prayer Breakfast. As well as the numerous quotes of [Third-Party 1] saying "[Third-Party 2] Said That What Carson Said is [good/bad]"--Petzl (talk) 21:13, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
    Petzl, your edit summary cites WP:COATRACK, which says: "A coatrack article is a Wikipedia article that ostensibly discusses the nominal subject, but in reality is a cover for a tangentially related biased subject." In this case, what is the tangentially biased subject?Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:06, 14 November 2013 (UTC)


    The Wikipedia article says:

    There is also a list of his publications at the bottom of the article. So, do people view the above paragraph as redundant? It seems to include some interesting stuff ("bestselling", "autobiography", etc). The reason I ask is because another editor has suggested deleting it.Anythingyouwant (talk) 00:46, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

    My suggestion would be to change the heading "Publications and appearances" to "author, debater, and movie character". That should be enough. It's common in BLPs to have a publications section that lists publications, while also discussing several of those publications in the narrative portion of the BLP. I've already removed the double mention of his religion, and have no objection to removing "academy award winner" before Gooding.Anythingyouwant (talk) 01:50, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
    Many BLPs of authors will title the section that lists their books as "Bibliography". The narrative section could just be called "Publications" or "Writer" (if it is going under the career section) and then the evolution statement could be moved elsewhere since he has expressed similar views in other venues. -Maximusveritas (talk) 05:00, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
    I have no objection to that. Plus we ought to remove "academy award winner" since Gooding did not win it for this part.Anythingyouwant (talk) 06:08, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

    Third party reaction to gay marriage comments[edit]

    I have no objection to including third-party reaction to his gay marriage comments, including the quote from the Hopkins professor saying that what Carson said appeared to be "nasty, petty, and ill-informed". But, as I pointed out several months ago, it is lopsided to exclude all third-party reactions defending Carson. WP:NPOV requires some neutrality. So, I would suggest inserting this sentence:

    Even if the Hopkins quote were simply described instead of quoted (which I am not suggesting we should do), still I don't think quoting Carson himself in any way justifies excluding all third-party comments in his defense, given the inclusion of criticism by third parties.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:38, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

    P.S. I have started a section about this at the NPOV Noticeboard, although I don't expect much response since that Noticeboard is not very active.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:49, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
    The problem with that sentence is that Kelly's argument has been disputed, so it's difficult to mention it without also bringing up the counter-argument to it. Maybe a more general statement about how he was defended by other commentators or maybe include a quote from Hannity since the comment was made on his show, so his thoughts are notable. - Maximusveritas (talk) 23:03, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
    Kelly's argument has pretty clearly been rejected by the people at Johns Hopkins who are already discussed in the Wikipedia article, so mentioning the two opposing arguments seems well-balanced and NPOV to me. But if it would calm the waters here to simply say that he was defended by other commentators, then I guess that would be acceptable, as long as the source that I cited is among those footnotes.Anythingyouwant (talk) 23:17, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
    Anythingyouwant, you brought this up a month or two ago, and there was no support for it (neither here nor at WP:BLP/N). Has anything changed since then, or are you just raising the same question and hoping for a different response? MastCell Talk 23:07, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
    MastCell, as you must have noticed above, I said today: "But, as I pointed out several months ago, it is lopsided to exclude all third-party reactions defending Carson." So, I hardly need to be informed that I brought up the matter previously. You must also be aware that the question has never been raised at the NPOV noticeboard, where I posed the question in much more general fashion today. Are you hoping that your previous position will be automatically followed now and always?Anythingyouwant (talk) 23:17, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
    No, I just want to understand what's new and why you're expecting a different response this time around. One could just keep raising the same issue every month or so until one gets the answer one wants. That's not exactly how things are supposed to work, though. Is there anything new to your argument, besides trying it out in a different forum? MastCell Talk 23:27, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
    First of all, this talk page is the exact same forum where you and I discussed the issue previously. Second, you have just edited this BLP,[8] presumably in response to my comments here today, so apparently you yourself feel differently than you did previously. Third (assuming that you are only objecting to my comment today at the NPOV noticeboard), the question I asked there falls squarely within the ambit of NPOV, and it is somewhat different from the narrow question posed months ago at the BLP Noticeboard. At NPOV/N today, my initial comment specifically mentioned this Ben Carson article, and provided a wikilink to it. Additionally, just to be safe following your most recent comment above, I have now mentioned at NPOV/N that there was a discussion several months ago at BLPN, and hopefully that will be satisfactory. Fourth , there are now other editors involved at this article, in addition to just you and me. Overall, I think you would be much better off discussing the BLP, than WP:Wikilawyering about supposed forum-shopping.Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:11, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

    I read through the section being discussed here and it seem fine to me; however, why give twice as much coverage to this as to the section that follows that is twice as important? (Criticism of Affordable Care Act) The emphasis is backwards. His criticism of Obamacare is far more important. — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 05:40, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

    Why do you think the ACA section is twice as important? Feel free to expand it if important material from reliable sources is missing.Anythingyouwant (talk) 05:53, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

    First sentence in section titled “Awards and honors”[edit]

    The first sentence in this section says, “Memphis business Academy of Achievement, and the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.” Does it mean to say, “Carson received the Memphis business Academy of Achievement and the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans” (omitted comma; words in bold are suggested to be added)? —The Sackinator (talk) 17:32, 19 December 2013 (UTC)


    >> Ben Carson: Obama officials 'acting like Gestapo'Lihaas (talk) 20:01, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

    rural Georgia[edit]

    Whereabouts in "rural Georgia" was his family from?Zigzig20s (talk) 01:53, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

    Lenin quote[edit]

    Some are criticizing Carson for using a Lenin quote that is in question: “Medicine is the keystone of the arch of socialism.” ― Vladimir Lenin[1] (talk) 02:27, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

    Automatic weapons[edit]

    I believe the attribution under political affiliation that he supports "banning automatic weapons in large cities" is a mistake. The quotes I've found all refer to semiautomatic weapons. Automatic weapons are exceedingly rare and used in very few crimes. I don't have an original source so I won't change it myself. Here's one quote, though: (talk) 00:19, 17 June 2014 (UTC)del