#AllVotesMatter: Reactions To The Ben Carson Event

Posted: January 23, 2016 | By: Iowa Caucus Project Staff Tagged: Blog
Photo by Evan Guest

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson answers questions at the #AllVotesMatter event sponsored by BET at Drake University on Friday. Photo by Evan Guest

BET hosted the #AllVotesMatter Townhall featuring presidential candidate Ben Carson at Drake University on Friday. Onstage with Dee-1 and Chris Prudhome, Carson answered questions submitted via Twitter. While the audience was instructed to refrain from making noise during the event, some attendees were not satisified with Carson’s answers. Here are some of the reactions to the event:


Reminiscent of the dispute between #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter, the event title was negatively received by some attendees who were surprised by BET’s choice.

I personally don’t appreciate it. I think it’s trying to piggy back off of #blacklivesmatter in order to get viewers that are also interested in that movement. I don’t think the title genuinely represents the purpose of the series BET is trying to create, so it was just an inappropriate attention grabber to me.” – Nina Strong


In the 45 minutes that Carson answered questions, audience members took note of Carson failing to answer many of them.

I don’t think he gives concrete solutions but skirts around the issues and answers. I’m not sure how he could improve besides that. He seems to be out of touch with the voters, especially the black community.” – Jared Freemon


The event focused heavily on Carson’s perception in the black community and whether he felt that he had its support.

I think he is completely out of touch with the black community. It’s so interesting to me how he goes on over and over again to insult and blatantly disrespect the black community but he wants our vote. What could have been done better tonight was amplifying the voices of the targeted audience which would have been black people.” – Jacqui Branch

Minorities who are for Ben are already pretty set on him and share his similar beliefs, if anything I think the event tonight further enhanced the minority vote that he’s not fully there with his community … He can’t turn the tide, he’s far too deep to turn it and these are beliefs that he’s had for a while.” – Thalia Anguiano


A key moment of the event came as Carson remarked on Stacey Dash. Dash recently appeared on Fox & Friends and called for an end to BET and Black History Month, claiming that they furthered racism in society. Carson attempted to defend Dash, saying that her comments did not come off as she meant.

There were things that completely against facts, for example his comment on what Stacey Dash said completely the opposite of what she said.” – Branch


Of the 12 individuals placed on the stage, the group consisted of only two black students and two women.

Overall, this was the most uncomfortable event that I’ve been to this caucus season. The energy is the room was unwelcoming, the production seemed off, and Carson did not come off as presidential.

IMG_1200Blevins is a junior politics and strategic political communications double major at Drake. He avidly follows Postmodern Jukebox, is a strong proponent of the color orange, and can often be found relaxing in a hammock if it’s a nice day out. Follow him on Twitter.