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Carson: 'Come together in love' after shooting of unarmed Black man in Kenosha

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson asked Thursday for people to use "our hearts, our love and our intelligence" to come together after the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed African American man who was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

President Donald Trump's only Black Cabinet member addressed the Republican National Convention, urging people to avoid the destruction of Blake's community in response to his being shot in the back seven times and "come together in love."

Dozens of fires were set, while businesses were ransacked and destroyed during two nights of protests following the shooting of Blake. A 17-year-old from Illinois was charged Thursday with first-degree intentional homicide in the late Tuesday shooting of two demonstrators and the wounding of a third.

"History reminds us that necessary change comes through hope and love, not senseless and destructive violence," said Carson, a Detroit native and retired and neurosurgeon. The HUD secretary, quoting Abraham Lincoln, warned against the false choice to either "rule or ruin" in reaction to disagreements.

Detroit native and U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson speaking during the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020.

The one-time Republican presidential hopeful pitched Trump's "courage" and frankness and rejected arguments that the president is a racist during the fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention. 

"President Trump is the most pro-life President in our country's history," Carson said. "He will continue to fight for those who cannot yet speak."

Carson was one of more than a dozen speakers Thursday who took the stage to pitch Trump's role in continuing "America's long history of greatness" and to promise to "make America great again."

Among the featured speakers are female business owners in Texas and Wisconsin, a police association president, a woman who received a commutation from Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. 

The night will end with an acceptance speech by Trump, who is expected to zero in on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as he seeks to protect his seat in the Oval Office. 

President Donald Trump speak at the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.

As the Republican National Convention was coming to a close, Michigan Republicans held a virtual round table to double down on the convention's fourth-night theme with U.S. Senate candidate John James, Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy and Black Voices for Trump Coalition member Dwayne Harvey.

National committeeman Rob Steele plugged James as a needed representative in the upper chamber, but also part of the solution for Michigan to secure U.S. marshal, U.S. attorney and judicial appointments.

“That’s going to be an amazing opportunity in the state of Michigan to have him in that position,” Steele said.

The Farmington Hills businessman took the opportunity to make his pitch for re-election to those listening, promising a tenure founded on securing American liberties and attacking the Democratic platform pitched last week during the Democratic National Convention.

“Party leaders and a lot of Hollywood elites talked about a lot of ideas that might sound good, but they didn’t disclose the cost, not just the financial cost but the cost to our freedom,” James said. “Don’t underestimate the appeal of socialism for those for whom the status quo is failing.”

Murphy touted Trump’s policy on law enforcement, which he said balanced recognition of the sacrifices police make but also acknowledged areas for improvement.

“There’s no cop out there that’s going to stand here and tell you we’re perfect, that there doesn’t need to be change, there doesn’t need to be best practices that are looked at followed,” Murphy said. “But it needs to not be a knee jerk reaction. It needs to not be emotional.”

Harvey, a Detroit teacher, echoed that sentiment and argued that the hateful protests would not solve the problems facing the U.S.

“A businessman sees a problem as an opportunity and America is the great land of opportunity.” Harvey said.

Michigan Republicans held a virtual round table Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020 to double down on the RNC convention's fourth-night theme with U.S. Senate candidate John James, Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy and Black Voices for Trump Coalition Member Dwayne Harvey.

As Michigan Republicans touted the president, state Democrats rallied with Biden’s campaign in press calls to slam Trump’s policies and reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“His inability to deal with reality is part of how his lack of empathy prevents him from being able to connect with the needs, desires, and dreams of the American people,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said Thursday morning, according to a transcript of the call. “And that certainly is felt all across the state of Michigan.”

Attorney General Dana Nessel called Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris “our last chance to save democracy.”

“…they have spent years and years in their careers not undermining institutions, but building them up and strengthening our Democratic institutions,” Nessel said.

eleblanc@detroitnews.com