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Ben Carson’s Ignorance Of History Comes Home To Roost

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Two and a half years ago, Irregular Times wrote that “Ben Carson’s historical illiteracy shows him to lack the fundamental competence we need”. This comment came in response to an historically inaccurate, anachronistic depiction of the bombardment of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812 – a minor skirmish that Carson retold with completely fictional flourishes and exaggerations. It was the kind of performance that has become a staple of Ben Carson’s political career, distorting actual history into a simplistic morality tale that just so happens to support Ben Carson’s personal prejudices.

Today, however, Ben Carson outdid himself. Speaking before an audience of employees of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, on his very first day as its Secretary, Carson started to tell one of his breathy tales of right wing revisionist history. This particular humbug history, though, took a very dark turn. Carson declared, “That’s what America is all about – a land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, and 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.”

The basics of the history of slavery really aren’t difficult to get right. Taking people prisoner and then selling them as objects to do forced labor for their entire lives and to be tortured at their owners’ whim is wrong. People don’t like being enslaved. Slavery is not the same thing as voluntary immigration. Slaves captured in Africa and forced to endure terrible ordeals while traveling to America didn’t look forward to their arrival with hope. They didn’t see America as a land of opportunity and dreams. They knew that their children, and their children for generations, would be torn apart from their families with no control over the course of their own lives. Slavery is the opposite of prosperity and happiness.

Any child who has learned American history understands these things. Ben Carson, however, does not. His historical distortions go beyond mere ignorance into cruel delusions.

It is beyond comprehension that a Cabinet official, one of the most powerful people in the Executive Branch of the U.S. federal government would choose to spread such toxic tales of how lucky Africans were to be enslaved by Americans.

No one who spreads such sadistic lies can be trusted by the American people. If Ben Carson is willing to declare on the opening day of his new job that slavery was a great path of dreams, opportunity, prosperity, and happiness, it’s difficult to imagine that he would ever take a stand against any cruel abuses of power. It’s easy to believe that Carson might even inflict them himself.

If Ben Carson ever had any credibility as a public figure, it is now gone.

If the Trump Administration defends Carson, and justifies his embrace of slavery, then the entire White House will become tainted with this scandal.

If he has any decency, Ben Carson will resign.

5 thoughts on “Ben Carson’s Ignorance Of History Comes Home To Roost”

  1. Al Hopfmann says:

    Interesting criticism, yet I suspect that you voted for Madame Mao (HRC) to be President, even though her vision of America was to enslave us all. I find it “beyond comprehension” that a woman as evil as her could be Secretary of State, and previously elected as the carpetbagger Senator from New York. And don’t tell me that Donald Trump is worse than her so you had to vote for the lesser of two evils. You could have voted for a decent candidate like Darrell Castle or Jim Hughes if you wanted to vote against Trump. That’s what knowledgeable patriots did.

    1. J Clifford says:

      Mr. Hopfmann, Hillary Clinton has nothing to do with the fact that Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development believes that slavery is a great opportunity for upward mobility.

      There is zero connection.

      It’s this kind of gap between reality and right wing political ideology, which you mimic, that has people so concerned about what’s happening in the Trump White House.

      1. Scotty says:

        I was on Twitter last night and a right winger said people mad at Carson because he is successful Black man and don’t blame everyone for their problems.

        I said the same thing you just told this person. WTF does historical facts have to do with your right wing rhetoric.

        1. J Clifford says:

          Right. Besides that, Ben Carson ONCE was a successful man. Then, he left his area of expertise and swerved into right wing politics. Then, his reputation fell apart.

      2. Al Hopfmann says:

        Hillary Clinton has everything to do with Donald Trump’s election and the resulting appointments he makes. Trump, an obnoxious, disagreeable narcissist with no sound philosophy of governance, only won because Madame Mao was SO BAD and even more obnoxious and evil than Trump. So many voters voted against Clinton rather than positively for Trump. They fell victim to the same con game that the Establishment has been forcing on us for 85 years. We are repeatedly denied good choices, so that voting for President becomes a negative activity. The lesser of two evils is still evil. But once you recognize that, don’t try to justify voting for the more evil of the two either And the vilification of Trump is relatively disingenuous if the villifiers were not at least a vociferous in their vilification of Obama who was even worse than Trump is likely to be.

        While Trump is not a conservative or a libertarian, or a liberal, we should try to take advantage of his being a functionalist. As such, there is always the possibility that he might be influenced to do some good things, while there was practically ZERO chance that either Obama or Clinton would ever do anything other than lead us further down the path toward unlimited government. Let’s all get together and put the pressure on Trump to actually “drain the swamp” instead of just talking about it. That would mean starting with removing all advocates of unlimited government from any positions in the Administration, whether Obama holdovers or neocon Establishment goons. There are plenty of good people available to fill positions who understand the importance of limited government.

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