Take a deep breath, everyone. Yet another member of President Trump's cabinet is under fire for making offensive, historically inaccurate comments about Black history.
The guilty party this time? Dr. Ben Carson, the current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and a former presidential candidate.
His sin? Referring to slaves as immigrants. Yep, you read that right. Carson, a Black man and famous neurosurgeon, said slaves were immigrants.
Man, I really wish I was kidding.
"That's what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity," Carson said while speaking to 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."
If it sounds so utterly absurd that you kind of don't believe it, well, see for yourself:
Ben Carson just referred to *slaves* as "immigrants"— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) March 6, 2017
"There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships..." pic.twitter.com/WkFrm3dYCB
Let's repeat that: "There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less."
Where do we even begin?
Let's start simple: Dr. Carson, slaves weren't immigrants.
Slaves were ripped away from their homes and brought by force to a strange land where they were sold into lifelong servitude. They were often beaten, raped, and killed at the hands of their masters. They didn't choose to come here.
They didn't work "longer and harder" for "less." They worked for nothing. The only way their descendants were able to "pursue prosperity and happiness in this land" was through shedding the blood of thousands of brave men and women.
If, like me, Carson's remarks make you want to scream, please take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. Twitter users are right there with you — and they're dragging Carson without mercy.
Some people were quick to emphasize that slaves were not immigrants.
SLAVES AREN'T IMMIGRANTS BEN CARSON— 🇨🇺 (@MadeForNirvana) March 6, 2017
SLAVES AREN'T IMMIGRANTS BEN CARSON
SLAVES AREN'T IMMIGRANTS BEN CARSON
Slaves. Were. Not. Immigrants.— rusty shackelford (@_taryn_nicole_) March 6, 2017
Sessions: "Selma was really about white voters."— Emily of the State (@EmilyGorcenski) March 6, 2017
DeVos: "HBCU's represent the power of choice."
Carson: "Slaves were hopeful immigrants!"
Slavery, by its very name, kind of explains why slaves were not “immigrants."— Jane Coaston (@cjane87) March 6, 2017
@SecretaryCarson Slaves were immigrants too? WTF dude. They were taken from their homelands by force, put in chains and sold like cattle.— Richard Lujan (@rlujan57) March 6, 2017
Please tell me how slaves were immigrants? You can't emigrate if you're forcefully taken from your land and brought to another.— Colin Field (@ColinFieldMusic) March 6, 2017
Others couldn't deal with the absurdity of it all.
@BraddJaffy POC calling slaves immigrants. My brain just broke.— Zaha Anise (@lionthroat) March 6, 2017
@BraddJaffy As a historian, I am appalled to hear anyone, especially an African-American, characterize slaves as immigrants with dreams— Stan Prager (@stanprager) March 6, 2017
Everyone at Ben Carson right now. pic.twitter.com/dmGQT516zb— Indigo Commentaries (@Indi_Comments) March 6, 2017
The Anne Frank Center had to chime in.
And even Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos — who last week caught some heat for her own inaccurate comments about Historically Black Colleges and Universities — got dragged into this mess.
Omg. Ben Carson just referred to slaves as immigrants. Is he studying under DeVos???? https://t.co/gZE1TasVze— Sandy Allnock (@sandyallnock) March 6, 2017
Betsy Devos taught Ben Carson that slaves were immigrants— kelly (@Kelly_Simonson1) March 6, 2017
Referring to slaves as immigrants? Did he and Betsy DeVos take history together? https://t.co/jLW2IKY98A— Jill H-W (@JillHDub) March 6, 2017
Ben Carson--FYI slaves and immigrants aren't close to the same. Did you and DeVos go to the same school to learn Black history?— Joyce Lynn Garrett (@joycelynn1017) March 6, 2017
Maybe these two should get together and take a couple of extra college courses on Black history.
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