Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is facing backlash after referring to African-American slaves as “immigrants” during his first speech to the HUD employees in Washington.
“That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity,” Carson stated in the video above. “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.”
After clips of his comments were shared online, social media was up in arms, with Samuel L. Jackson, Ava DuVernay, Whoopi Goldberg and the NAACP, among others, slamming the ex-brain surgeon and GOP presidential candidate for his comments.
Later that evening, Carson took to Facebook to comment on the criticism he was receiving:
“The slave narrative and immigrant narrative are two entirely different experiences. Slaves were ripped from their families and their homes and forced against their will after being sold into slavery by slave traders. The Immigrants made the choice to come to America. They saw this country as a land of opportunity. In contrast, slaves were forced here against their will and lost all their opportunities. We continue to live with that legacy. The two experiences should never be intertwined, nor forgotten, as we demand the necessary progress towards an America that’s inclusive and provides access to equal opportunity for all.”
See what others had to say about in the tweets below: