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Ben Carson Under Fire for Describing Slaves as Immigrants

BellaNaija.com

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Renowned Neurosurgeon and U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson is being berated for describing slaves as immigrants.

During his debut speech with HUD employees on Monday, Carson characterised slaves as immigrants who came to America, worked harder and longer for less, because they had a dream that their generations “might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land”.

“That’s what America is about. 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,” Carson said.

In an interview with SiriusXM‘s “Urban View” Carson defended himself, explaining that one can be an involuntary immigrant.

“I think people need to actually look up the word ‘immigrant’. Whether you are voluntary or involuntary, if you come from outside to the inside, you’re an immigrant. Whether you’re legal or you’re illegal, you come from the outside to the inside, you’re an immigrant. Slaves came here as involuntary immigrants, but they still had the strength to hold on,” Carson told host Armstrong Williams.

Carson later made a statement on Facebook saying that “the slave narrative and immigrant narrative are two entirely different experiences”.

“I’m proud of the courage and perseverance of Black Americans and their incomprehensible struggle from slavery to freedom. I’m proud that our ancestors overcame the evil and repression that we know as slavery.

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.

We should revel in the fact that although we got here through different routes, we have many things in common now that should unite us in our mission to have a land where there is liberty and justice for all,” he wrote.

12 Comments

  1. Lol

    March 7, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Product of Ivy League education and thinking. I hope those that think Ivy League educated people are the best will come and defend this daftness.

    • akissi

      March 7, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Daftness!!!

    • A Real Nigerian

      March 7, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      To be fair, being booksmart has nothing to do with social intelligence.

    • jade

      March 7, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      Book smart is different from common sense, emotional intelligence and being perceptive.
      Ben Carson is an example of an educated fool. It can also be lack of self worth, and suffers from inferiority complex. Those black people who will and say anything to please their oppressors.
      Don’t we see our naija people everyday the doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, etc talking and leading with no form of sense at all. Intelligence is beyond reading a book and passing.

  2. x-factor

    March 7, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Ben Carson- The difference between Brilliance and Intelligence

  3. mrx

    March 7, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I don’t understand he clearly stated the difference. Ofcouse the liberals lefties without spine will blow it out of proportion. No doubt that they were two kinds of Africans that went to the US to settle the slaves forcefully removed from Africa due to the slave trade era and the immigrants due to soci0-economic gains. Enough of the sentiment about slave trade.

    • Author Unknown

      March 7, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      You don’t get it do you? He referred to the group that came “in the bottom of slave ships”. That’s hardly the African immigrants that migrated for socio-economic gains. Unwilling immigrants, fine, people that came for opportunity, heck no. Successful black Americans can be delusional sometimes.

    • Manny

      March 7, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      He “clearly” stated the difference after it was pointed out to him. This is not about liberals lefties (sic)

  4. Tutu

    March 7, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    White man in black skin. Shiooor!

  5. Sylvia

    March 7, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    There isn’t a statement from Trump and his team that liberals will not twist to mean something else, is there?

  6. Joseph Ebedmelech

    March 7, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Perhaps he meant forced or involuntary immigration.

  7. Lucinda

    March 7, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Charlemagne the god calls him “Secretary of House Negros”. This man is practically uncle Ruckus from Boondocks.

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