Ben Carson Talks Values, and Enjoys Green Beans, in Harlem
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The staff members of Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem, where pictures of Democrats hang on the walls, wiped down the outdoor tables on Wednesday as Ben Carson sat in a black S.U.V.
“Who’s here?” asked a tall woman in a black tank top as she passed by. “Ben Carson,” a voice yelled. The woman walked away.
Mr. Carson, who is climbing in the Iowa polls after a quiet but well-received performance in the Republican presidential debate last week, traveled to New York to meet with business and community leaders at a private event space operated by Sylvia’s.
His campaign said he would “discuss his renewed vision for an inclusive and revived America” and his plan to address the “high double-digit unemployment rate in urban communities” and “inconceivably high incarceration rates.”
The meeting and meal lasted about two hours behind windows covered in gold curtains. Deana Bass, his press secretary, would not name who was at the meeting. But she said that Mr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who has not held public office and is still introducing himself to the public, would answer questions, then take a walk around the neighborhood.
Mr. Carson covered a lot of ground.
Sylvia’s green beans, he told reporters, “were smacking,” and the United States needed “to use every resource to get rid of” the Islamic State. “We need to wipe them out,” he said. “Right now.”
“We take the land from them, we take their oil from them,” he added, echoing comments on Tuesday from Donald J. Trump, the current leader in the Republican polls.
Mr. Carson also addressed the Black Lives Matter movement, calling the protests unnecessary “strife.” Instead, he said, “We need to be talking about how we solve the problem in the black community of murder.”
The solution, he said, was to “instill values into people again so they do in fact believe that their brother’s life matters.” He defined those values as “family and faith,” the “principles that got black people through slavery, segregation and Jim Crowism.”
Alton Darden, 68, who, like Mr. Carson, grew up in Detroit, does not agree.
“He does not stand for the things that I do,” said Mr. Darden, who was in New York on vacation with his granddaughter and was standing nearby. “Sometimes I feel he is anti-black, and he is a black man,” he added. “I am disappointed.”
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