In his first address as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Ben Carson spoke to employees about the good ole American values and the nation’s “can-do” spirit.
During the speech, the former neurosurgeon talked about not expending brain power on what can’t be done, and start concentrating on what can, presumably solving the nation’s housing issues.
While the speech was meant to be an uplifting call to action to HUD employees, things took an odd turn once Carson began talking about the human brain…and “immigrants.”
Ben Carson: I could drill a hole in your head, stick electrodes in your hippocampus & have you recite verbatim a book you read 60 years ago pic.twitter.com/y0NZUgzu1v
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 6, 2017
“That’s what America is about,” Carson said,” referring to the “can-do” attitude. “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.”
First of all, enslaved Africans weren’t immigrants who came to the Americas in search of a new life. They were kidnapped hostages who were stripped of their culture, language, rights, and humanity in order to help European countries build empires on their backs. Sure, our ancestors who were enslaved likely had dreams for their children and grandchild, but they probably weren’t about pursuing “prosperity and happiness” in America, but rather getting free and going home.
Carson’s complete bungling of history caught the ire of many across social media.
Don't care what he once did. I wouldn't trust Ben Carson to operate on a crawfish head. "Get out the kitchen, Ben. Step back from the pot."
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) March 6, 2017
— amber payne (@amberwaves) March 6, 2017
Ben Carson is gonna start saying the homeless are fresh air enthusiasts ⛺️
— Natalie (@daCasObserver) March 6, 2017
Ben Carson: Slaves were immigrants who came to America to reach their dreams
Ben Carson's great-grandmother: pic.twitter.com/6uuqxoCWCU
— 7 and whine (@_fortheloveofAj) March 6, 2017
While the memes and responses from Twitter were swift, none was better than the response by famed actor Samuel L. Jackson, who gave the most Samuel L. Jackson-type answer to Carson’s historical nonsense.
OK!! Ben Carson….I can't! Immigrants ? In the bottom of SLAVE SHIPS??!! MUTHAFUKKA PLEASE!!!#dickheadedtom
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) March 6, 2017