Dr. Ben Carson won't be speaking to the graduating class of Johns Hopkins University this May, reports the Washington Post.
Carson, who serves on Johns Hopkins' faculty, announced today that he will not serve as the University's commencement speaker after students protested his controversial statements on Fox News in March comparing marriage equality to pedophilia and bestiality. Carson half-heartedly apologized for his statements last month, citing his Christian beliefs and claiming he had no intention to offend anyone.
But even in announcing his withdrawal, Carson struck a defiant tone.
"Given all the national media surrounding my statements as to my belief in traditional marriage, I believe it would be in the best interests of the students for me to voluntarily withdraw as your commencement speaker this year," Carson told Johns Hopkins Medical School dean Paul Rothman in an email. "My presence is likely to distract from the true celebratory nature of the day. Commencement is about the students and their successes, and it is not about me."
Carson also played the victim card in his email, claiming he is being unfairly silenced by an overzealous drive for political correctness.
"Someday in the future, it is my hope and prayer that the emphasis on political correctness will decrease and we will start emphasizing rational discussion of differences so we can actually resolve problems and chart a course that is inclusive of everyone," Carson wrote.
While students called for Carson's removal, Rothman issued a statement April 5 condemning Carson's comments as "offensive," according to the Post.