Ben Carson, speaking for the first time to staff on Monday at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said slaves brought to America were “immigrants” with dreams that “one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”
— NAACP (@NAACP) March 6, 2017
Ben Carson: Obamacare is slavery.
Also Ben Carson: Slavery wasn't really slavery. Slaves were immigrants with dreams of a prosperous future.
— Christopher Marshall (@PNRChris) March 7, 2017
Conservatives sometimes run into trouble when they attempt to whitewash slavery with this kind of rhetoric. Painting a smiley face on 250 years of horror and treachery, a painful history, into mere “immigration.” Portraying slaves as having been provided food, shelter, and labor, immigrants who willingly came to the United States with dreams of a better life.
Vox: “this is yet another example of the Trump administration’s baffling mistakes in reaching out to black Americans. Time and time again, Trump and his team have tripped up in their outreach efforts — from Trump describing all black communities as crime-ridden, impoverished hellholes to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos hailing historically black colleges and universities as “pioneers of school choice” when these institutions were formed because choice was denied to black people at mainstream schools.”
Carson has a lengthy history of startling, odd and false statements. Like that the pyramids of ancient Egypt were used to store grain or the answer to Putin’s provocation is for the Baltic States to join NATO even though they already have.
During one of the Republican debates, Carson grandstanded to the anti-vaccine vote, falsely claiming there are a “multitude of vaccines that do not prevent deadly and crippling diseases” and “pediatricians have cut down on the number and proximity of vaccines because they recognize there have been too many in too short a period of time.” Vaccines aren’t provided for trivial illnesses, and there is a consensus among leading medical experts and associations regarding the vaccine schedule and dosages. The medical community promptly condemned and corrected Carson’s statements.
As a brain surgeon, Carson used the cultural capital afforded him to claim $40,000 in speaking gigs to promote junk-medicine pyramid schemes, asserting tree bark and aloe vera supplements cured his prostate cancer.
One of the quirks of democracy in decline is that voters who’ve been persuaded by decades of right-wing propaganda which insists government is fundamentally stupid and incompetent, prefer things be run by the most fantastically ignorant and incompetent people. Carson, Trump’s supremely unqualified pick for HUD, is regarded as an intellectual by those who say Ted Cruz or Donald Trump are the only truthful politicians.