Yesha Callahan

Ben Carson Asks Schoolchildren To Point To Dumbest Kid In Class & They Did

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Des Moines Register

Ben Carson probably scarred a kid for life in Iowa on Thursday. The former surgeon and presidential hopeful asked students to pick out the worst student in class, according to a Des Moines Register reporter.

And guess what the students did? They pointed to that student.

Carson was speaking at Isaac Newton Christian School and asked, “Who’s the worst student?”

The kids didn’t give him a chance to say “just kidding,” and they quickly pointed to one boy. Carson tried to clean it up and say he also felt like the dumbest kid and it’s also something he mentioned in his book “Gifted Hands”.

After the assembly Carson me with the kid backstage to apologize and encouraged him to become a brain surgeon.

When asked by reporters if he was embarrassed about what happened or if his feelings were hurt, he said no.

The tweet below perfectly sums up what happened at the school:

  1. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    My My Ben Coonson strikes again! I thought your stupidity laid dormant but here it is in all its full glory. You big Jackass.

  2. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Yeah, Ben Carson is just book smart.

  3. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    This is so silly. He asked the question, and when the kids hurried up and answered it, he said that he used to feel the same way, and then apologized to the kid and encouraged him to be a brain surgeon.

    Scarred him for life? You think that kid didn’t think all the other kids, and maybe his teacher, didn’t think he was the worst student in the class already? Come on. Carson could be the first person to actually encourage this kid in a long time, if not ever.
    If you’re going to attack Carson or anyone else, attack them on something substantive. This is just an awkward story with a happy ending.

    • January 8, 2016 - Reply

      @LogicalLeopard

      What is the happy ending? More precisely, what is the happy ending they could not have been achieved without singling out a particular child as the dumbest kid in the room? The man is a brain surgeon. Surly, he could have thought of a way to inspire children with his story without actually singling out a child. Surly, he has the capacity to know that as a presidential candidate everything he does publicly will be reported so it would be in his best interest to think through his public speeches beforehand. That was such an odd thing for any adult to ever ask a room full of children. This is not an attack on Carson. The media reports on everything a presidential candidate does, even things that may be just an “awkward situation.” It comes with the territory.

      • January 8, 2016 - Reply

        @Ang

        The happy ending is that he actually went and talked with the kid and encouraged the kid. Did he make a mistake? Obviously he did. He asked a rhetorical question that he was going to say “just kidding” to, and did not expect the kids to respond so quickly. It was a joke that was going to underline how he felt when he was in middle school. His mistake. He fixed it the best he could. End of story.
        This article could have been very well written in a neutral fashion. It wasn’t. I’m calling this an attack. A lightweight attack, but one nonetheless. The headline says “dumbest kid” in the classroom, when that’s not even what he said. They dismiss what actually happened, and then says that the derogatory tweet at the bottom “sums up what happened perfectly.” That’s an attack.

        My point is this. During a political campaign, if you don’t agree with a candidate, there are MANY different intelligent and insightful articles you can write, for the benefit of your readers. This is not one of them. It’s just dumb. It’s like, last night I saw on a website an article about Trump not letting a mother and son with Bernie pins into his rally. Are you serious? ALLLLLLLLL of the dumb stuff Trump does, and you have to report on THIS? Of COURSE they’re not getting into the rally, just like you wouldn’t get into a Hilary Rally with a Trump pin on. These elections bring out the worst in people, I say stick to the issues.

        • January 8, 2016 - Reply

          @LogicalLeopard

          If my memory serves me correctly, Clutch has attacked Hilary Clinton also. Yes, this article wasn’t very informative on the issues, but it was a good laugh at Carson’s expense.

          This election hasn’t given us much to think about. We can at least get a good laugh when, “keeping it real goes wrong.”

          • January 8, 2016 - Reply

            @Objection

            I don’t think they should attack Hilary, Carson, or anyone. And yes, I don’t have any problem with a humorous story, but it was presented in an attack mode. *LOL* If they would have termed in “When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong” it would have been far better.

        • January 8, 2016 - Reply

          @LogicalLeopard

          It wasn’t really a rhetorical question. If what I read from news outlets is correct, he paused and waited for a reaponse from the crowd. But, I do believe he did not intend to hurt a child. But, the fact remains that a child experienced a potentially embarrassing situation at his doing. Therefore, it is going to be reported. This is a blog not the LA Times. Practically every article on a blog is written with a particular slant that appeals to their demographic or that reflects the writers personal views. I don’t think that is a bad thing. I believe Clutch used this headline because Carson said he intended to talk to the kids about his experience in school which is detailed in his book. The chapter in the book he is referring to is titled “The Dumbest Kid in Fifth Grade.”

          • January 8, 2016 - Reply

            @Ang

            I understand what you’re saying. Yes, blogs have a slant, but I think when you’re trying to serve a population (and I get especially touchy regarding my black population), I think you have to present some news as news, and make the editorials clear. I know it’s a blg, and not a newspaper, but still….
            And no, I don’t think Clutch used that headline because of his book, because that’s clearly not what he said. I think they used it to make it seem more controversial. But then again, I can’t say that was just a dig at Carson by itself, it was also a clicks thing too. I came RIGHT in when I saw it *L*

            • January 8, 2016 - Reply

              @LogicalLeopard

              I highly suggest you do not read articles on other websites. Actual newspapers wrote lengthy articles that were a lot worse than this.

              • January 8, 2016 - Reply

                @Ang

                *LOL* Thanks for the heads up. I guess I just hate the election foolishness that goes on. This is a VERY mild case of it, I will admit, but it just struck me the wrong way.

    • January 8, 2016 - Reply

      @LogicalLeopard

      This really isn’t silly! If a presidential candidate walked into your classroom, complete with media personnel and you were singled out as the dumbest person in the room, you would be embarrassed. Unfortunately, this child doesn’t know the full ramifications of Ben Carson’s action and will have to go home and hear the countless media reports of Ben Carson’s mistake.

      • January 8, 2016 - Reply

        @Lillie Emily

        If the kid wasn’t embarrassed immediately, he likely will be when he discovers this has become headline news. Kids can be cruel. He will probably be teased about this. Hopefully, he has parents and a compassionate teacher who can help him deal with this positively.

      • January 8, 2016 - Reply

        @Lillie Emily

        Of course the child was probably embarrassed, and Ben tried to rectify his mistake. My point is that the article is geared toward being a slam piece on an innocent mistake. I don’t think this child is going to suffer as much as people think. I think that this situation is probably going to produce some change. Say you’re the principal of this school? After you read the news reports, whats the first thing you do? You go and ask the teacher “Why is this kid not succeeding, and how can we better help him to succeed. It’s an incredibly awkward and embarrassing situation, but it’s not bullying like the article implies.

        • January 8, 2016 - Reply

          @LogicalLeopard

          I wish every school had principals who would do that. That’s not a snide remark I mean that. But, unfortunately that is not the case.

          • January 8, 2016 - Reply

            @Ang

            That is true. But I think there is a good chance that it might happen.

          • January 8, 2016 - Reply

            @Ang

            And correction, Ben actually DID want a response. He figured that everyone would point at each other, or basically, the people they didn’t like. Here’s a better description of what happened, and the fallout, from the Des Moines Register:

            “The question, in a crowd of about 500 people at a Thursday campaign rally, prompted immediate finger-pointing toward one student from more than half a dozen classmates at Isaac Newton Christian Academy.

            The targeted 10-year-old, who initially turned red in the face, ultimately shrugged off the exchange with a sense of humor. His mother, Robin Blackford, who was not present but learned about it through a teacher, said it was unfortunate but seemed mostly harmless.

            When questioned by the Register, Carson said he expected a different outcome when he shouted out to the fifth-graders.

            “I figured people would be pointing around to all different people who they didn’t like,” he told the Register.

            It was an atypical addendum to a regular anecdote in his speeches about being labeled “the dumbest person in the world” in grade school. Carson then goes on to describe how he dedicated himself to reading, became a peer mentor in his teens and eventually a highly regarded neurosurgeon.

            “As a fifth-grade student, I was a horrible student. Anybody here in fifth grade?,” Carson said.

            A large group of students all seated together in the bleachers raised their hands.

            “Who’s the worst student? Now …” Carson said with a chuckle, pausing for laughs from the crowd, then the finger-pointing.

            Carson went on: “Well, let me tell you, if you had asked that question in my classroom, there would have been no doubt.”

            When asked how he felt, Seth said, “I was laughing,” adding that he would vote for Carson if he could. A Carson volunteer immediately found the student in the audience to give him a pat on the back and a copy of Carson’s book, “You Have a Brain.”

            Campaign staff also arranged a quick personal meeting for Seth with Carson backstage before leaving Cedar Rapids.

            “You’re going to be a neurosurgeon, OK?” Carson told Seth.

            Seth’s teacher and others in the crowd who knew him said he’s not the worst student in his class, but actually is well liked and “a class jokester.”

            His mother said she assumes that’s why he was classmates pointed at him.”

            • January 8, 2016 - Reply

              @LogicalLeopard

              So, it sounds like he really did not think this through well enough. The kids were there as a school trip. They were seated together so he had to know they were in the same class. Like you said, the kids all probably know which kid was the worst and the kid probably knows it as well. Of course, they are going to point to one kid. Asking them to do that in front of 500 people is mean even when done with good intentions. It could be that Carson is not around kids much and gave 10 year olds too much credit. But, regardless of what he thought was going to happen he has to take the *L* on this one.

              • January 8, 2016 - Reply

                @Ang

                Well, I don’t think it’s mean. It’s not very thoughtful, granted. But I don’t think it’s mean. And honestly, it says that “more than half a dozen” kids pointed to him, which is what, eight? I was kind of thinking like THIRTY pointed at him.*L*
                Will he have to take the L on this one? Yup. But is that L going to be blown out of proportion? Certainly. It was a stupid idea, I grant you, but the way people are hyping this is out of control. Reading this article makes me feel worse about the Clutch article, because I’m sitting here wondering if this poor kid had a learning disability, a drug addicted family, or worse, and it turns out that the kid is just a class clown and NOT the worst student in the class. And he seems like he took it in stride. I’m thinking that Clutch and other writers all had this information, and chose to withhold it.

                • January 8, 2016 - Reply

                  @LogicalLeopard

                  Any decent teacher or adult would try to lighten to situation for the kid’s benefit. The teacher isn’t going to add to the kid’s embarrassment and say that he is the worst student because he reads slower, has trouble at home, doesn’t do his homework, hates reading, etc. even if that was the case. Class clowns often use their humor as a way to cope with not being good at academics and teachers know that. That’s not always the case and I of course can’t say that is the case here. I don’t think the other kids would point to him because he is the class clown. But, there isn’t anything else the teacher or the boy would have said because anything else would have made it worse. People, including kids, often lie when asked if they are embarrassed about something in order to save face.

                  I don’t have any sympathy for Carson here. If you are going to be President you better get used to using your words carefully and thinking about reactions before you open your mouth. If not, deal with the fallout.

                  OT: Carson’s staff member who gave the boy the book called “you have a brain” did not help the situation in my opinion. I have not read the book. It could be a good read and an inspirational story. However, I would be offended if someone just handed me book called “You have a brain,” especially after an incident where I was just singled out as the worst kid in my class.

                  • January 8, 2016 - Reply

                    @Ang

                    So, you think everyone is lying? The kid, his mother, and his teachers? I doubt it. He asked who the worst student was in the class. I think that it’s natural to point to the class clown. He didn’t ask who was the dumbest, he asked who was the worst student, and student includes behavior. I think that would make people point at him quicker.
                    I agree with you. I don’t have any sympathy cor Carson here, and I think you’re absolutely right about Presidents having to use their words carefully. I think airing this is fair game. My only problem comes in when people intentionally slant things and make them worse than they are. Looking at this situation, it’s bad enough, right? So why not tell the whole story, impartially?
                    As far as the You Have a Brain book, even that’s not bad. The cover of the book shows a smiling picture of Carson, and the title says “You Have a Brain – A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.” It’s an inspirational book for teens, not a remedial learning text. This kid is already familiar with Ben Carson and had a conversation with him. See, this is what I’m talking about. People are spinning this as if it was the final insult to injury, but it was anything BUT that. That’s what bothers me so much. Ben Carson has said some stupid things in my opinion. Hold him accountable for those things. Don’t spin things like this to be worse than they are, withholding information here, trumping up information there.

                    • January 8, 2016 - Reply

                      @LogicalLeopard

                      I didn’t say everyone was lying. I’m just saying that they would say the same thing no matter what. Do you honestly think a teacher would say “well yes, he is the worst kid in the class and I wish he would work harder”?

                      I don’t think anything that I’ve read, including this article, is that bad. Every article, including this one, states that the boy said he wasn’t embarrassed. No one to my knowledge has said that Carson is a horrible person who intentionally humiliated a child. The Washington Post gave a detailed account of the incident. They don’t hold back rhe criticism. But, even they described the incident as a “presumably well-intentioned effort to relate to a group of schoolchildren.” In the article you cited above his mother said it “saddens her that he would be pointed out but she knows he’s the type of kid to take it in stride and he knows he is well liked.” So, of course it may not be a life shattering event but I can’t say it is no big deal either. I wasn’t there so I can’t say that the reports make it worse than it is. But, IMO most of the reactions are what I would expect people to have to an adult making a gaffe like that with a child. It’s an “OMG did he really just say that” moment.

                      I was only half-serious about the book. The title adds a visual that makes me think of an SNL skit, especially since he started his speech saying that he was called dumb regularly. But, the media has pointed out the good things you mentioned about the book as well (as did I btw).

                      • January 8, 2016 - Reply

                        @Ang

                        No, a teacher may not say he was the worst kid. They may try to dress it up a little, like saying that he has some academic troubles. But it appears that everyone is saying this kid is a class clown. And it seems like he took the situation in stride, after the initial embarrassment.
                        I’m not saying these are horrible slam pieces, because there isn’t a lot to work with. What I am saying, is that this article in Clutch didn’t even give the whole story. I don’t even know if I should read articles like the one in Huffington Post that says, “Ben Carson Takes Down Small Child, Ready For Putin” *LOL*

                        • January 8, 2016 - Reply

                          @LogicalLeopard

                          I think the discrepancy is that you are focusing on the boy’s reaction and most people are focusing on the act itself. The kid taking it in stride (publicly) doesn’t affect my opinion of Carson’s words. It was a bad move on his part, plain and simple. It may have been well intentioned, but it was still bad. Like you said, the kid was initially embarrassed. The fact that the embarrassment may have been fleeting doesn’t change the fact that Carson screwed up here. People are going to have different interpretations. This article actually did not make it worse. Cluctch gave the simplest facts but they didn’t twist anything. The simplest version of the story is he asked a well intentioned question that did not go as planned, a kid was temporarily embarrassed, he apologized, social media went off on him. That’s all true. Now, I need to go read the Huffington Post article. Thank you for that. But, I suggest you stay away from HP lol.

                          • January 8, 2016 - Reply

                            @Ang

                            Oh, no, I completely understand that. It was a very bad move on his part. It just seems to me that people are making it seem worse than it is. And I think that is what Clutch did, by not providing all the facts, and adding a more negative spin to it.
                            Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a deplorable act of yellow journalism by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just something that irritates me juuuust a little. *L*

                            • January 8, 2016 - Reply

                              @LogicalLeopard

                              Yea, just a little lol.

                  • January 10, 2016 - Reply

                    @Ang

                    I remember what I was like in the fifth grade, if someone had done that to me, I’d have thrown his book in the garbage before he had even left the room.

              • January 9, 2016 - Reply

                @Ang

                What’s the “L”?

                • January 9, 2016 - Reply

                  @Mary Burrell

                  L is slang for Lost.

                  So, take this L means “take this Lost.” It’s a new slang word in the new generation.

                  • January 9, 2016 - Reply

                    @truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

                    Thanks for clarifying I’m a little scattered brained today recovering from a nasty virus.

                    • January 9, 2016 - Reply

                      @Mary Burrell

                      You’re Welcome. I hope you recover fully from the virus Sister. Have a Great Day.

                • January 9, 2016 - Reply

                  @Mary Burrell

                  The loss

                  • January 9, 2016 - Reply

                    @Ang

                    Thanks for clarifying

                    • January 9, 2016 - Reply

                      @Mary Burrell

                      No problem.

  4. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    They should’ve pointed to him.

  5. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    I think he’s a dumb idiot for doing that to a young kid

  6. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    “And they quickly pointed to one boy.” Lol damn cold blooded

    • January 8, 2016 - Reply

      @i mean

      That’s kids for you!

  7. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Did it mean the class thought the student was dumb, nerdy or a troublemaker? I think when Carson mentioned that he used to “feel dumb” that probably made it worse. But how would the class know another student’s track record, unless he is constantly being reprimanded in front of everyone? I think disruptive behavior or lack of participation was part of why they chose that student, not really whether the student was “dumb.”

    I hope the kids get the point he was trying to make, that people can improve. I guess I would have to be in that room when it went down to see the kids’ reactions. But the teacher can push that advice to motivate the student in the future. Some people do go on to actually better themselves.

  8. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    I’m not even sorry that I find this hilarious. Stupid of Ben, a little sad for the kid but hilarious at the same time. I feel like it’s a scenario out of an Adam Sandler movie

    • January 8, 2016 - Reply

      @Yurilyte

      This does sound like something you would see from Adam Sandler or SNL.

  9. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    It was a bad mistake on the part of his part. That is why he apologized to the child. He can easily tell the children that they should strive for excellence and that adversity will exist in life, but they can overcome challenges during their lives (via hard work and a great support system acting as a community. It takes communities to enact long lasting solutions). He should have definitely gone about it in a better way. Many children are eager to point people out and they have a different emotional mindset than grown adults. He is part of a political party filled with racists, fascists (like Donald Trump), xenophobes, and sexists. If Ben Carson was truly politically independent, he would denounce the leadership of both parties as funded by corporate interests and desire an end to the system of racism/white supremacy and desire economic justice overtly in public. I have no hatred of Ben Carson. I do disagree with him ideologically on many issues.

  10. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    If he’s auditioning to be the new Bill Cosby, at least he’s not doing that other thing.

  11. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    ben ben ben … ben

  12. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Ben Carson tried to make a joke but failed miserably. I believe he had all the good intentions but he comes across as a socially inept person. Maybe he should refrain from telling jokes and instead get his point across without using analogies.

  13. January 10, 2016 - Reply

    ben carson was a joke from day one! lets cut through the BULL$HIT , he serves two purposes ! to make all those LILY WHITE so called ‘christian’ right wingers buy his books! so he’ll make bank! NO.2, carson is the token boy that will say racist garbage that most caucasian republicans typically say behind closed doors! I’d call him a ‘uncle tom” but uncle tom wasn’t a suck up!

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