By Ariel Worthy
The Birmingham Times
The Republican National Convention began today in Cleveland and is expected to have a diverse group of speaks including Dr. Ben Carson, who was on the Republican ticket until dropping out of the race in March.
The theme for the opening day of the convention is Make America Safe Again, a play on “Make America Great Again” the campaign slogan made popular by Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Speakers on Day 1 include Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry; U.S. Navy SEAL and “Lone Survivor” author Marcus Luttrell; former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani and Trump’s wife, Melania.
Also, scheduled to speak is Sheriff David Clarke, of Milwaukee County, who is an ardent critic of President Barack Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement. In a Sunday night interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Clarke said Obama lied when he said that black men are two times more likely to get shot by the police than white men.
“I condemn [Black Lives Matter] just like I do the KKK,” Clarke said to Lemon. “There is no place in American discourse for that sort of vile, vitriolic hate coming out of this ideology,”
Carson, the surgeon-turned politician was in the Republican race until dropping out in March, during the campaign described himself as pro-life and compared women who have abortions to historical slave owners, during an interview with NBC’s “Meet The Press” in 2015.
He also said the Advanced Placement U.S. History curriculum overemphasizes wrongdoing by the U.S. “I think most people, when they finish that course, they’d be ready to go sign up for ISIS,” he said at the Center for Security Policy’s National Security Action Summit in 2014.
Carson dropped out of the race and announced that he would be the new national chairman of My Faith Votes, a group that encourage Christians to exercise their civic duty to vote.
Another black supporter of Trump is clergymen is Darrell Scott, pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center. Scott announced his support for Trump in November when he pulled together a group of black pastors to endorse the New York businessman.
However, the convention may be notable for who is not in attendance. A number of prominent Republicans are no-shows including former presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush; 2008 presidential nominee Sen. John McCain; 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney; Utah Rep. Mia Love and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
Even Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the host governor, has decided to skip the event.