Ben Carson at HUD: This negro is really trying it. pic.twitter.com/OicU8jmGVw
— #ResistCapitalism (@Delo_Taylor) March 6, 2017
Dr. Ben Carson sent Twitter into a tizzy when he outlandishly said enslaved Africans were “immigrants” during a speech to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
On Monday, March 6, the HUD Secretary spoke to employees for an hour, discussing how his background in neurosurgery prepared him for his new role and American exceptionalism, something he has talked about in the past.
“That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity,” Carson said. “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.”
In reaction, Twitter had a field day with the retired neurosurgeon, chiding him for his lack of historical knowledge.
Everyone at Ben Carson right now. pic.twitter.com/dmGQT516zb
— Indigo Commentaries (@Indi_Comments) March 6, 2017
Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon = brilliant
Ben Carson, the human speaker of words = terribly unSmart
— Billy Ray Valentine (@WalkSays) 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
— Its Shanahan's Fault (@_fortheloveofAj) March 6, 2017
Ben Carson you need to learn your history sir.
— Morgan (@__itssmo) March 6, 2017
Celebrities and activists also weighed in.
OK!! Ben Carson….I can't! Immigrants ? In the bottom of SLAVE SHIPS??!! MUTHAFUKKA PLEASE!!!#dickheadedtom
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) March 6, 2017
Ben Carson said slaves were immigrants who came over here & worked for less. By "came" you mean FORCED and by "less" you mean NOTHING
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) March 6, 2017
Others questioned his ability to head the HUD department.
Maybe Ben Carson should have been appointed to a position with a somewhat lower profile like Secretary of Manila Envelopes. #immigrants
— Marco Romano (@RomanoMarko) March 6, 2017
Ben Carson official HUD photograph. pic.twitter.com/Esc83DXoys
— Fil Rougę (@CushKobain) March 6, 2017
@pattonoswalt Ben Carson. Good grief. Maybe a great neurosurgeon but a woefully ill-conceived and embarrassing choice to head up HUD.
— Nobody (@pantone1497too) March 6, 2017