Very little appears to be out of the bounds of propriety with our current occupiers of the White House, and supporting appointed positions, in Washington nowadays, but a statement by Ben Carson, new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, established a new low in an administration that continues to sink into the toxic swamp of the nation’s Capital.
Carson, retired neurosurgeon and losing candidate in the 2016 Republican Presidential primary campaign, told HUD employees Monday:
That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity,” Carson told the HUD employees. “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.
Yes, that’s what he said. Coming to America as an imprisoned slave is the same as coming here willingly as an immigrant seeking a new life in America.
I doubt those who starved to death in slave labor camps or were beaten by plantation owners felt like they were seeking a better live in the country that considered them disposable animals.
Those who continue to suffer in an America where racism remains as a constant threat to those who are not lilly-white, probably don’t agree either.
Academy Award nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson was, to say the least, outraged on Twitter.
The NAACP denounced Carson’s comments and others were amazed that the words he spoke came out of the mouth of an African-American who should know better.
“Immigrants?” That was the single question offered by the NAACP with a post of Carson’s offensive remarks.
“This is one of the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” read one post on Facebook.
Other comments called Carson a “fool,” a “racists” and a “homophobe” because he is also stridently anti-gay.
Reporters who attended Carson’s remarks in the HUD event welcoming him as the new Cabinet Secretary say many in the crowd were shocked. Several shook their heads. Others stared defiantly at the new boss.
“What else should we expect? He may be a black man but he is part of the most racist Presidential administration in our history,” said an email from a HUD employee and longtime friend.
My friend is right. The Presidency is in the hands of a racist, with Stephen Bannon, a self-declared “White Nationalist” as his top adviser and an Attorney General (Jeff Sessions) with a racist history.
For me, the only saving grace is this latest debacle of our current President is that I’m writing about it from my den here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia and not from one of the offices where I worked for 23 years in Washington, DC.
Our nation’s capital has become a dark, foreboding place driven by anger, hate and intolerance.
We once called it home.