U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson got off to a rollicking start as head of a major federal agency by comparing slaves to your run-of-the-mill immigrants.
They came here, Dr. Carson told HUD employees, with “dreams for their sons, daughters … ” and others who would come along.
Really, he said that.
I don’t know how to react fully to what Dr. Carson said at his HUD meeting.
I have read over many years, however, about how human beings were “sold” as cargo by slave owners in Africa; they were put on ships and transported across the Atlantic Ocean, where they would be used like, oh, farm animals. They were denied every human right imaginable; indeed, they weren’t even considered to be fully “human.”
They had dreams about a better future? Is that what the new HUD secretary said?
“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.”
I wish my grandparents were alive at this moment to hear these remarks. They, too, had “dreams” about forging a better life in this land of opportunity.
However, all four of them — the parents of my mother and father — came here willingly, of their own volition. They sought a new life and a safe place to rear their children.
I cannot believe that Dr. Carson would suggest — even in the remotest of terms — any kind of equivalence between those who came here as slaves and those who arrived as immigrants.