Erstwhile surgeon, candidate for president, and head of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson doesn’t like the struggle for racial equity. It’s not because he recognizes systemic racism and the fight for racial justice as the long-term, legitimate battles they are. Carson is a rattled figure who thrives on endearing himself to the basest elements on the right, not realizing that even they don’t care for him all that much.
This week, Carson said this to Fox News about the fight for racial equity: “You know, that’s what animals do. Animals, you know, base a lot of what they do on external characteristics because they don’t have the mental capacity to dissect further into what’s really important.” Carson tried to make the toxic argument that we, as a society, should discount and ignore the lived experiences of people of color. If we follow Carson’s wrong-minded advice to disregard the lived experiences and histories of our BIPOC compatriots, we make no progress or amends. Carson, like many on the right, simply wants to declare that racism isn’t a problem in this country – all while being racist.
Despite the great successes Carson has experienced, he has little empathy or respect for others. Although he’s Black himself, he suffers from internalized racism, and he does not appreciate the struggles our communities of color face. When Carson had a position in the Cabinet of the United States under the previous president, he was known to be particularly ineffective. It’s just as well that he was asleep at the helm of HUD, because he could have created even more disarray for the Biden-Harris administration to clean up. Let’s note that President Biden’s Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Marcia Fudge, seeks to end racial discrimination in housing markets, something Carson would not even acknowledge to be a problem.