Prepare yourself for this. we’re really sorry to ruin your day, but there’s no other way to say it: You are about to agree with Bill O’Reilly. Not that you necessarily should (because Bill O’Reilly), but you probably will anyway. Back in September, Fox’s pet conservative neurosurgeon (and Tea Party presidential hopeful) defended Ray Rice in a statement on Newsmax TV, hours after Rice was fired from the Ravens.
“Let’s not all jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy. He obviously has some real problems. And his wife obviously knows that because she subsequently married him. So they both need some help.”
And that is true. At least the second part. They’ve both clearly got issues; but two people with different issues doesn’t make either of them right. What he did was still wrong, and help to bring back to light the epidemic of domestic abuse. An epidemic which, to be fair, is still at far, far lower numbers than it was some 20 years ago. Among women, anyway. So maybe Carson should be given the opportunity to defend his comments; or at least, put them into context if some was missing.
Bill O’Reilly gave him the chance to do exactly that on his show, and Carson (in a case of clear Conservititis) doubled down on the remarks.
O’REILLY: “Shouldn’t we demonize him and others like him to send a message that this can’t happen in America? This kind of violence.”
CARSON: “I’m not sure that demonizing people is ever the right thing to do…these are human beings, we’re all human beings.”
O’REILLY: “I don’t believe in redemption for [violent people like Muslim extremists] at all. Ray Rice certainly not in that category, but who did a terrible, terrible thing. And I do want the message to be sent that…is it enough he’ll never play football in America again?…Doctor, do you know how many millions and millions of men [abuse women?] It’s not an isolated deal. It’s a terrible plague.”
CARSON: “I’m not sure that that’s true.”
O’REILLY: “No, I’m telling you…battery against women in this country and around the world is just out of control, Doc. It really is.”
Bill then repeats “It’s a plague,” which weirdly prompts Carson to immediately contradict himself:
“I agree, it’s a big problem.”
Tell you what. Let’s just end on this note. Decide for yourself which one of them is half right, all wrong, or doesn’t know what they think. The first chart is for the United States, current as of 2011; the trend has continued pretty much as depicted since then. The second chart shows the world prevalence of domestic violence. The United States is actually one of the less abusive nations in the world…but only just. Here, it was about 23 percent in 2010; in India, it was 70 percent, and about as high throughout the Middle East. And unlike the United States, most of those places show little to no indication of decline.