Ben Carson’s Violent Past Versus Now Soft-Spoken, Calm Personality

Ben Carson’s violent past is not something he’s kept quiet about. In Gifted Hands, he wrote about the rage that consumed him as a teen and how he became enlightened after reading the book of Proverbs. He felt as though the references to anger described him. He then applied counsel from the Bible to his life and said he never had another angry outburst.

As a teenager, I would go after people with rocks, and bricks, and baseball bats, and hammers. And, of course, many people know the story when I was 14 and I tried to stab someone. You know, fortunately, you know, my life has been changed, and I’m a very different person now.”

Ben Carson as a boy, pictured 2nd from right. [Image via Carson's Scholars Fund] Ben Carson as a boy, pictured 2nd from right. [Image via Carson’s Scholars Fund]

Carson’s former violent behavior even led to him going after his mother with a hammer, but his brother was there to intervene.

In a CNN interview, when asked why he was so violent, he talked about a difficult childhood that included learning challenges and poverty. Carson spoke of being at the bottom of his class academically and being laughed at by peers.

According to a recent poll, Carson now leads in Iowa — 28 percent to Trump’s 20 percent. Carson’s leading contender in the bid for the GOP presidential nomination, Donald Trump, joked about his rival’s energy level.

“Ben Carson is super low energy, right? He’s super low. Super low energy. We need tremendous energy. We need tremendous energy.”

In an interview, Carson said people mistake his calmness for a lack of energy, but that’s not the case.

“I do have a tendency to be relaxed. I wasn’t always like that. There was a time when I was, you know, very volatile. But, you know, I changed.”

Ben Carson in New Hampshire. [Image via Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons, Aug. 13, 2015] Ben Carson in New Hampshire. [Image via Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons, Aug. 13, 2015]

Carson’s admission of a violent temper may come as a surprise to some, but it’s nothing he hasn’t talked about before. He said he once stabbed a classmate with a knife, but it broke on the would-be victim’s belt buckle. In the inner city, poverty-stricken neighborhood of his hometown, Detroit, being violent may have been a defense and survival mechanism.

To help Carson excel in school, his mother stopped him and his brother from watching TV and insisted they write two book reports each week. She pretended to read them, although she only had a third grade education.