Ben Carson claims slaves were ‘immigrants’ dreaming of a better life for their children

Image: YouTube/CNN screen capture

Image: YouTube/CNN screen capture

While speaking to his employees for the first time as the Secretary of Housing and urban Development, Ben Carson said that slaves brought the US were “immigrants” who dreamed of a better world for their children and grandchildren in the country.

That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters, might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.

The comments were quickly condemned, obviously, because slaves were brought here through violence and brute force. They did not immigrate to the US seeking a better like for their children.

“No, Secretary Carson. Slaves didn’t immigrate to America. They were brought here violently, against their own will, and lived here without freedom,” said Steven Goldstein, Executive Director of The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.

To even imply otherwise is mind-boggling. How can a brain surgeon, an African-American brain surgeon at that be so ignorant about the history of US slavery to describe it as immigration?

How Carson was ever approved this job will be a mystery for the ages, and now, with his position of power over a program that helps house millions of people, many of which are people of color, he goes and shows just how disconnected he is from that community and that he will push a racist agenda without a second thought.

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About Dan Arel

Dan Arel is an award-winning journalist and the author of the best-selling book The Secular Activist; and Parenting Without God. He is also a freelance columnist for AlterNet, Time, and The Huffington Post. Follow him on Twitter: @danarel