Ben Carson, newly confirmed Housing and Urban Development Secretary, calls slaves “immigrants” while speaking to department employees on Monday.
In his debut as secretary of Housing and Urban Development Carson explained to department employees that slaves were hard working immigrants:
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 thoughtless remark was immediately condemned on social media, as Carson’s name dominated the top of the trending list on Twitter.
The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, a civil and human rights organization, issued a searing statement calling Carson’s remarks “offensive.”
A statement from executive director Steven Goldstein read in part:
No, Secretary Carson. Slaves didn’t immigrate to America. They were brought here violently, against their own will, and lived here without freedom.
— AnneFrankCenter(US) (@AnneFrankCenter) March 6, 2017
The faux pas should come as no surprise. Ben Carson is an idiot: a man willing to deny scientific truth to preserve religious superstition.
In the past the Christian extremist has compared abortion to slavery, saying rape victims seeking abortions are “perverted,” while declaring he would “love” to see Roe vs. Wade overturned, and wants all abortion outlawed, even in cases of rape or incest.
Carson also rejects evolution and climate change, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. Previously, leading scientist Richard Dawkins referred to Carson as a “disgrace” for denying evolution.
Adding insult to injury, Carson also believes the ridiculous claim that the pyramids were built by the biblical figure Joseph to store grain.
Critics note that Carson is a dangerous religious extremist, and worry that his extremism will likely impede his ability to serve Americans that do not share his Christian faith.
In particular, Carson has made dangerous and inflammatory statements concerning the LGBT community, and has promised that one of his top concerns as HUD Secretary will be the nation’s “spiritual infrastructure.”
Despite Carson’s serious problems, the Senate confirmed him to be President Trump’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development late last week.
Bottom line: Referring to slaves as immigrants is an insult to the intelligence, and a despicable attempt to whitewash the history of the United States.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 6, 2017