The XX Factor

No, Feminism Is Not the Cause of Police Shootings

Dr. Ben Carson argues that police shootings aren’t the fault of the police, but of feminists.

Photo by Laura Segall/Getty Images

When cops gun down unarmed black men (or, in some cases, children), conservatives cast around desperately for someone besides the actual triggerman to blame. Now conservative commentator and Fox News stalwart Dr. Ben Carson has stumbled on an exciting anyone-but-the-shooter scapegoat: feminists. Carson was being interviewed by phone on American Family Radio’s “Today’s Issues” to elaborate on his theory that police shootings are the result of insufficient deference to authority on the part of young black men. 

“Certainly in a lot of our inner cities, in particular the black inner cities where 73 percent of the young people are born out of wedlock, the majority of them have no father figure in their life,” Carson said, ignoring the fact that Ferguson, where the shooting of Mike Brown that kicked off this discussion happened, is hardly an “inner city”—it’s actually a suburb of St. Louis. “Usually the father figure is where you learn how to respond to authority. So now you become a teenager, you’re out there, you really have no idea how to respond to authority, you eventually run into the police or you run into somebody else in the neighborhood who also doesn’t know how to respond but is badder than you are, and you get killed or you end up in the penal system.”

Host Lauren Kitchen Stewards jumped in to widen the discussion and talk about how the kids these days are irredeemable screw-ups, regardless of race. “My husband and I talk about the importance of teaching our children not only biblical principles, but one of those being to respect authority. Because you’re doing them a favor when they learn to go, OK, that person’s an authority over me.” She added, “I’ve been aghast, especially at this generation, the sense of entitlement that just dominates all that they are.” Presumably, by “this generation” who disrespects authority, she doesn’t mean the older folks playing at being revolutionaries in tri-cornered hats because they don’t like the president, but those wicked millennials who feel entitled to not be shot by cops. 

Carson wholeheartedly agreed and put the blame on, where else, the ‘60s and, of course, feminists: 

I think a lot of it really got started in the ‘60s with the “me generation.” “What’s in it for me?” I hate to say it, but a lot of it had to do with the women’s lib movement. You know, “I’ve been taking care of my family, I’ve been doing that, what about me?” You know, it really should be about us.

You know what this means. Give up your independence and suffer unhappy marriages, ladies, or else it’s your fault if your son is gunned down in the streets by an overly aggressive police officer.