Ben Carson Said Slaves Were Immigrants, and Twitter Unloaded on Him

Politics

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Source: Salon

Samuel L. Jackson led the criticism of Ben Carson, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), after he referred to slaves as “immigrants.”

Carson was making his introductory speech to staff at the HUD when he made the controversial comparison of people brought to the United States against their will and those who relocate to America from their former home countries.

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“There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less,” Carson said. “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.” Following his speech, countless stars took to social media to slam African-American Carson for his insensitive comparison — with Jackson leading the way. “OK!! Ben Carson….I can’t! Immigrants? In the bottom of SLAVE SHIPS??!! MUTHAF—- PLEASE!!!,” Jackson tweeted. Whoopi Goldberg advised Carson to watch miniseries Roots or read Alex Haley’s 1976 novel on which it was based, writing: “Ben Carson..please read or watch Roots, most immigrants come here VOLUNTARILY,cant’t really say the same about the slaves..they were stolen.” Selma director Ava DuVernay commented on her Twitter page: “Their dream? Not be kidnapped, tortured, raped, forced to mate, work for another’s gain, torn from family + culture.” Patton Oswalt used his signature humor to comment on Carson‘s remark, tweeting: “I apologize for referring to slaves as ‘immigrants.’ I meant to say ‘interns.’ — Ben Carson, tomorrow.” Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former U.S. president Bill Clinton, wrote, “This can’t be real. Slaves were not & are not immigrants. 2017,’ while Ice T kept it simple with his tweet, “Ben Carson is a MFn Idiot…” Carson later attempted to clarify his comments in a Facebook post, writing: “The slave narrative and immigrant narrative are two entirely different experiences. 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.”

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