In 2015 Michelle Malkin wrote a column, praising the wife of distinguished neurosurgeon and later Trump Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson. Malkin appropriately designated her subject as the “anti-Michelle Obama.” Her description encapsulates some of the merits of Candy Carson, who graduated from Yale with a triple major in music, psychology, and pre-med, and who has written books in defense of constitutional freedoms:
Candy Carson — wife of GOP 2016 hopeful Dr. Ben Carson, mother of three sons, and grandmother of two — is the anti-Michelle Obama. She’s a quiet but confident ray of sunshine: down-to-earth, devoutly Christian and proudly patriotic.
Mrs. Carson would be a thoroughly admirable person, whether she was male or female, white or black. The question we might ask is why she is not more widely celebrated, when the media claim to be honoring blacks and women. Why does this lady not earn the accolades of black and feminist organizations that have frantically showered praise on Michelle Obama and more recently, Vice President Kamala Harris? What have these women done that can equal the intellectual and humanitarian accomplishments of Mrs. Carson, who among her other achievements has set up a scholarship fund for poor, but diligent, high school students?
I am asking this question rhetorically because I could not imagine anyone whom the media would loathe more thoroughly than they do Candy Carson. The “woke” media never hold her up as a model for the young. She is everything Michelle and Kamala are not. Unlike Kamala, who has likened our border control officers to KKK members, and who called for decriminalizing illegal border crossings, Mrs. Carson is “down-to-earth, devoutly Christian, and proudly patriotic.” Perhaps our current vice president should be allowed to decorate her mansion in Washingtoninstead of assuming her responsibility to control the border situation in south Texas. She is undoubtedly better at decorating her pleasure dome than bringing order to the present border chaos, a situation that she did everything possible to incite as a presidential candidate in 2020.
Malkin is also correct to contrast Candy Carson to the grousing, self-important Michelle Obama, who beside marrying a future president has done nothing worth comparing to Mrs. Carson’s considerable achievements. But, as I have argued elsewhere, it is precisely the most disagreeable aspects of Michelle that render her so beloved by the media. Her nonstop diatribes against white America are the source of Michelle’s popularity. They can be cited by the culturally leftist media as evidence that this “most admired woman in the world,” a status the media have meticulously fostered, is courageously exposing our terrible shortcomings.
The media’s goal is to force us to accept the racialization of our politics and culture. They manufacture a sense of guilt for the rest of us to wallow in—it is not meant to be shared by the media class any more than it is for Michelle and Kamala.
Candy’s husband has also received the short end of the stick for not grousing enough about white racism and perhaps for being “proudly patriotic” in his own right. The Benjamin Carson High School for Science and Medicine in Detroit has had the name of the eminent surgeon removed from this largely black institution. This seems entirely appropriate. We wouldn’t want black students attending a school named for a black neurosurgeon who disgraced his race by serving in Donald Trump’s cabinet. After all, there are worthier and more honorable black people for whom that school could be named: Al Sharpton or Maxine Waters, or perhaps someone on the board of Black Lives Matter. The school administration might also pick one of the media favs, say Kamala or Michelle.
Paul Gottfried is editor in chief of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is also the Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years, a Guggenheim recipient, and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents.