WATCH: Dr. Ben Carson Explains Where ‘Wokeness’ Came From

Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon and former Trump administration official, told Fox News in an interview this week that wokeness came from political correctness that started back in the 1990s.

Carson made the remarks during an interview on “Hannity” with guest host Tammy Bruce.

“You know, I talked, the first time I spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1997, about the fact that political correctness, if we continued along that pathway, was going to destroy our nation, it has continued to get worse,” Carson said. “Now it’s morphed into wokeness. And we have a situation on our college campuses where students are afraid to express themselves, conservative students are.”

“College is supposed to be a place where you explore, and you have an opportunity to discuss certain things so that you can determine which way you’re going. And basically, what’s happening is people are being shut down,” he continued. “And it doesn’t have to be the government that shuts down your freedom of speech, you know, big tech, social media, college professors can shut down your speech.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS: Welcome back to this special edition of Hannity. Tis the season for extreme wokeness. At least that’s the case at one church in England, where the classic Christmas hymn “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” was rewritten to include left-wing lyrics like “God rests you queer and questioning, your anxious hearts be still.” I’m sorry. We just can’t. I mean, come on. But there’s plenty of wackiness to go around back here at home, too, where our own U.S. Marines could soon be told not to address their superiors as “sir” or “ma’am.” In order to avoid — are you ready?m— misgendering them. The University of Pittsburgh was paid $2 million by the Marines to come up with recommendations like this one. Or for more woke madness, just look to Detroit, where a school board just voted to remove the name of Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and former HUD Secretary Ben Carson from a public high school because he’s a Republican. And Dr. Ben Carson joins me right now. He is the founder and chairman of the American Cornerstone Institute. Dr. Carson, of course, this isn’t your first round at the rodeo, is it? You’ve been right in the arena, you know what the deal is, you continue to serve this nation. And these are petty things. But when it comes to, as an example, conservatives on campus, and the nature of, I think you’ve probably heard about Stanford issuing this list of forbidden words, and what, you know, was meant for, you know, their IT group and you couldn’t say “American,” because that, you know, would upset the rest of the countries in North America, it gets down to being kind of like a pathology, or a pathological obsession. What is your take on our direction here these days?

DR. BEN CARSON: Well, thank you, Tammy. And Merry Christmas. You know, I talked, the first time I spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1997, about the fact that political correctness, if we continued along that pathway, was going to destroy our nation. It has continued to get worse. Now, it’s morphed into wokeness. And we have a situation on our college campuses where students are afraid to express themselves, conservative students are. College is supposed to be a place where you explore, and you have an opportunity to discuss certain things so that you can determine which way you’re going. And basically, what’s happening is people are being shut down. And it doesn’t have to be the government that shuts down your freedom of speech, you know, big tech, social media, college professors can shut down your speech. And if the government is compliant with that, it’s the same as if they’re doing it. And we, the American people, should be outraged about that. Our freedoms come from God — that’s stated in our Declaration of Independence, and yet we’re allowing them to be taken away from us. And now, we also have a government that is insinuating itself into every aspect of our lives. You know, liberty and community was about what the people could do, not what the government could do. And it’s impacting us tremendously. You look at the omnibus bill that was just passed, and all the pork that’s in there, and all the programs, you know, these are not programs that the government is supposed to be doing. These are things that we the people are supposed to be doing, and how we’re supposed to be working together in our communities to strengthen ourselves. And we’re allowing all of that to be taken away from us. We don’t — most people don’t even know their neighbors anymore, don’t even know what their names are, have no idea who they are. All of these things are changing us from the dynamic and innovative people that we used to be, we had a system that encouraged innovation, and entrepreneurship. And we — most of the big inventions in the world came from the United States of America. But if everybody is thinking the same way and saying the same things, where’s that out of the box thinking that’s going to allow us to continue to be that beacon?

BRUCE: Well, it’s, I think that’s part of the thing that they want that the Left wants to stop — is that they resent America being a beacon. They don’t think that’s a good thing because we, of course, encourage human ingenuity and personal freedom and that is the problem for the Left, because Americans don’t like the Left in that regard. And you’re an example, sir, of what they don’t want to have be reflected as a role model and as a potential career. And this is where we start getting people erased. So thank you, Dr. Carson, for your perspective once again.

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