This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 9, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to this very special studio audience edition of "Hannity." Now tonight for the hour, I will be joined by a very distinguished group of African-American conservatives. Now, included among Lamar community leaders, political commentators, men of the cloth, women of the cloth, authors, educators, and, yes, even a physician. And we're here this evening to tackle some very important and controversial issues surrounding the issue of race in our society.
Now, the idea behind this hour was inspired by the speech that was given by Dr. Benjamin Carson. He delivered this back in February at the National Prayer Breakfast. And of course he did that with President Obama just seated steps away and Dr. Carson respectfully voiced his disagreement with some of the core principles of the Obama administration.
However, the backlash that he faced from the days afterwards and the weeks and months that followed was anything but respectful. In many cases it was mean-spirited. It was baseless and in some cases downright racist. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOURE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: When you're publicly admitting your party doesn't care enough about black America, then it's time for a new black friend. Enter Dr. Ben Carson, who's been embraced recently because he's smart and helpful in assuaging their guilt. Carson is a bootstraps kind of guy, speaking their language, talking like he built his path from a poor kid to a pediatric neurosurgeon all by himself. He must have gotten government-backed school loans, which is a form of public assistance, but let's not let facts derail a good "I built it without help" story.
Carson's enjoying the GOP's version of affirmative action where black faces that can spit conservative game get raked to the front of line because then people get to put a bumper sticker on their cars saying, "How can I be racist? I would have voted for Carson," which will fit nicely over the bumper sticker saying, "How can I be racist? I would have voted for Cain," which fit nicely over the bumper sticker saying, "How could I be racist, I would have voted for Allen West." Yes, any black friend will do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Now, I said it before, if you are African-American and you are conservative, in this country right now, you are vilified, you are demonized, you are besmirched, your character is assassinated because sadly it is episodes like this that lead me to believe there is no freedom of speech for black conservatives right now in America. This has to change.
Now, our studio audience will be weighing in on this controversy and others throughout the course of the hour. But first, joining me now to help kick off things is the man who has been subjected to the left's relentless smear campaign.
The director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome Dr. Benjamin Carson.
DR. BENJAMIN CARSON, DIRECTOR, PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGERY AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Good to see you.
HANNITY: Well, your life hasn't changed at all.
CARSON: Well, you know, the good thing is once the media gets finished parsing every word and dissecting maybe they will start actually listening to what I'm saying.
HANNITY: Before you gave this speech, were you subjected to name-calling because of your conservative views?
HANNITY: It was only when you went public?
HANNITY: Tell us since that this has happened and since the speech was given and you have given some interviews, what have you been called since then, obviously being on television you may --
CARSON: Yes, some of the words cannot be used. And, you know, it's really kind of sad. You know, I feel more sorrowful for the people who do that than I feel angry with them. And, you know, I represent something that they just can't quite get their heads around. How can you be black and, you know, not march lockstep behind the quote, "leaders?" How you can actually think for yourself?
And how can you actually have some ideals that actually make sense that don't agree with their leaders. And I am very hopeful that this is a trend that will be broken. I'm going to continue to speak out. Of course, there is an old trick that you ostracize, you ridicule, you isolate and you keep repeating. These are three rules that are well known to people who have read certain books. And, you know, those are things --
HANNITY: Would that be Alinsky?
CARSON: That would be Alinsky, yes.
HANNITY: Just checking. Alright. We were all on the same page.
CARSON: I'm not sure that it's going to work quite frankly because I don't plan on going anywhere.
HANNITY: Well, I think, well I speak for a lot of us I think a lot of people are glad to hear that. Let me just ask the audience one question.
Of everyone here that's conservative, how many of you have been called horrible names because of your conservatism? (AUDIENCE RAISES HANDS) Everybody in the audience.
What does that say, Dr. Carson because the names are vicious and vile and we can't repeat them on television?
CARSON: Well, it says to me that the very people who love to talk about tolerance are some of the least tolerant people there are.
You know, anybody who would do that.
HANNITY: You can you clap. Yes.
CARSON: They would do that, they would try to ostracize and try to shut people up. How tolerant can they be? You know, we need to reach a point in this country where we can have recent discussions without getting into corners and tossing hand grenades at each other. We can never make it if we continue to do that; the people have got to rise above that, not allow themselves to be manipulated.
HANNITY: Do you think this is an effort at intimidation? Because it's interesting. When you go back to the speech that you gave where President Obama was present, which you then became automatically a national figure, you interestingly almost talked prophetically, talked about political correctness, and yet all of this has now has since been unfolding in your life.
CARSON: Well, it's just demonstrating exactly what I was saying. And that is it is threatening the very fabric of our nation. One of the founding principles of our nation is freedom of speech and freedom of expression. And, yet, there are so many people who are afraid to talk.
You know, I have gotten so many e-mails and letters from people who say I support you 100 percent, but please let this remain anonymous. Why?
Because they don't want to have the fiery darts thrown at them.
HANNITY: Because there is this feeling. I mean, if you look, I can take this audience back through every election cycle, 1998, Missouri Democratic Party, radioed at if you elect conservatives, elect Republicans, Black churches will burn. The NAACP ad. James Byrd. George Bush supported the death penalty for the people responsible for that heinous crime.
Al Gore goes before a predominantly African-American audience. His tone, his speech, his cadence shifts. He goes into black preacher mode. Same with Hillary. What do you think it is from the Left or their silence when black conservatives are called all of these names? They claim they are against racism.
Why don't they speak out when African-American conservatives are attacked?
CARSON: I think that would be a very good question to ask them. Of course, I doubt that they will answer.
HANNITY: Come on my show or, you know.
CARSON: They'll dodge the question and move around because, perhaps, they don't want to face reality. But, you know, the way I look at it and I have said this before as a brain surgeon, you know, I don't tend to see race and talk about race a whole lot because when I open that head up and I'm operating on the brain, that's the thing that makes the person who they are. The color doesn't make them who they are. And it's only people who are very superficial in their thinking who characterize everything by its color.
HANNITY: You know, I know you have a deep abiding Christian faith -- as do I.
The word education from the Latin, I'm going to show off a little of my seminary education here. It is "educare" -- to bring forth from within. So if you believe that God created every man, woman and child, then you believe all of that is there when they are born and it's our job to help bring it out of children.
CARSON: Exactly. And these are things, you know, particularly in the African-American community that we need to be talking about again. You know, education is so fundamental to success in our society. Also, bringing back values. You know, the kinds of Judeo-Christian values that help establish this country and that made families strong. We have lost a lot of that.
As a result, there is less respect for each other. Young men are not respecting the young ladies. They are going around impregnating them. Young ladies are allowing that to happen by disrespecting themselves. Babies are being born with no solid family or financial structure. They have four to nine times the instance of poverty. People are not learning how to turn over dollars in their own community a couple of times before they send them out. That's how you build wealth. And as you build wealth reaching back and pulling others up. You know, if people begin to understand these principles, it really won't matter what else is going on around them.
HANNITY: Yes. We can build a great country with all this great talent.
CARSON: Absolutely. No question.
HANNITY: You are going to stay with us. Right?
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