In the late 1980s and early ’90s, he may have been the most celebrated figure in the black communities of Baltimore. Carson responded to that adulation by regularly giving his time to talk to young people, who needed to know that there was so much more beyond the streets.The use of the word "mask" here is inflammatory, and it will bring traffic to this NYT op-ed, but I think it's a big distraction from the point Coates is trying to make.
I was one of those young people. I don’t doubt that Carson was a conservative even then. I knew plenty of black people who loved their community and hated welfare. But white conservatives were never interested in them, and they were never as interested in Ben Carson as they are right now. When the presidency was an unbroken string of white men, there were no calls for him to run for the White House. And then he put on the mask.
April 4, 2013
A mask he put on quite recently, says Ta-Nehisi Coates.