Retired neurosurgeon and fruit salad enthusiast Ben Carson has been tapped to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Recall that when rumors of Carson being tapped for a possible cabinet position were swirling a few weeks ago, a spokesperson for Carson said he had “no government experience” and would was so overwhelmingly unqualified that his inexperience could “cripple the presidency.”
So how does Carson feel about the programs the department he’ll potentially head runs? Here’s a choice quote:
These attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse. There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous.
That’s a reference to Obama’s “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Act,” aimed at reinvigorating the Fair Housing Act of 1968:
Since 1968, federal law has required towns, counties, and states that seek federal dollars for building things to show their work to unravel deep-set racial segregation in housing. The Fair Housing Act, passed that year, created huge federal investments in revitalizing cities, subsidizing housing costs for the poor, and improving the housing options available to black Americans. But it didn’t just make those funds available to anyone. The 1968 law, the last and most politically difficult piece in a wave of reforms meant to restore non-white Americans’ civic and legal equality with whites, said applicants for the money had to prove their communities were actively working to desegregate housing before the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would cut a check.
This requirement to “affirmatively further” housing equity and desegregation gave the feds teeth to deny money to cities that engaged in practices designed to ensure white people would never have black neighbors. But the government only used that leverage for a couple of years in a handful of places, before then-President Richard Nixon chased then-HUD Secretary George Romney out of his cabinet for aggressively pushing to integrate the country through the FHA structure.
Carson, of course, is repeating a right-wing talking point that not-so-subtly stokes fear of white neighborhoods being invaded by scary minorities. So Carson isn’t thrilled about having to carry out a duty of HUD, and one of the main reasons it exists. And the “failed socialist experiments” he refers to undoubtedly includes the postal service, public schools, the military, public roads, public libraries, social security, the police, public parks, Medicaid…
In a speech at CPAC last year, Carson said this:
It really is not compassionate to pat people on the head and say, ‘There, there you poor little thing, I’m going to take care of all your needs, your healthcare, your food, and your housing, don’t you worry about anything.’
The compassionate answer, as we all know, is to let the invisible hand of the free market determine who will and will not be able to afford a place to live, with the rest of it being taken care of by charities if they have the funds and feel like it, while the government sits on the sidelines saying, “Sorry, bub, but we don’t want to give people the idea that we give a shit about them,” and of course all those people who would otherwise be homeless work extra hard (because they’re lazy) and start living the American Dream!
So that’s it. Public housing is part of a failed socialist experiment that demonstrates how communistic our country has become. That’s the guy Trump wants to head a department responsible for meting public housing. Beyond that, Carson has hardly said anything about public housing in his entire life. (He was busy giving lectures about grain storage in ancient Egypt.) A guy with no government experience, who admitted his inexperience could potentially cripple the presidency, who has never dedicated any significant amount of time to the issue of public housing in his life, who believes that public housing is a failed socialist experiment, will accept a position to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
He also: has compared Obamacare to slavery, said Nazi Germany could have been prevented had the citizens had guns, admitted he tried to kill someone, believes people choose to be gay, and thinks Planned Parenthood is population control.
And in case you needed a reminder, Donald Trump has had some really neat things to say about his African American:
- “How stupid are the people of Iowa?” referring to a poll showing Carson leading Trump. Source.
- “He was a doctor, perhaps an OK doctor, by the way. You should check that out too. We’re not talking about a great [doctor]. He was an OK doctor.” Source.
- “If you’re pathological—there’s no cure for that, folks. There’s no cure for that. If you’re a child molester—a sick puppy—a child molester, there’s no cure for that.” Source.
- “I’m Presbyterian. Boy, that’s down the middle of the road folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about. I just don’t know about” referring to Ben Carson’s faith. Source.
See? They’re best friends.