What can be said about Dr. Ben Carson’s statement about African captives coming to the United States as immigrants and not slaves?
Like my fraternity brother Selywn Ghoram said, Dr. Ben Carson probably believes that nooses were placed around the necks of African-Americans to prevent them from falling out of trees, not to lynch them.
Or Dr. Ben Carson probably believes that slaves were whipped on their backs for a job well done, not for brutal punishment.
While discussing immigrants that came to Ellis Island in New York from Europe, Dr. Ben Carson turned his attention to African-American slaves.
“‘That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity,’” the secretary of Housing and Urban Development said on March 6. “‘There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, 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.”
In a country that tries desperately to deny that slavery or racism ever existed, it would not be so surprising for a White supremacist to call African captives immigrants and not slaves.
But for a brilliant African-American mind to not know that his ancestors came to America chained in slaves ships, separated from their families for life with their freedom snatched and not willingly because they were seeking a better life makes one question how difficult it really is to complete medical school and become a brain surgeon.
If Dr. Ben Carson can do it, maybe us non-doctorate-having brothers are a lot smarter than we think we are.
His comments also makes one wonder how bad could our ancestors lives have been in Africa, if slavery in America was a better life for them?
Like my Facebook friend Gilbert Dixon, Jr. said, Dr. Ben Carson must be seeking honorary membership into the Ku Klux Klan.
It is extremely dangerous for any American to pretend that America does not have an atrocious history when it comes to racism and oppression of African-Americans.
School textbooks are even trying to whitewash history by calling slaves migrant workers.
But, for an educated African-American man to brownnose so much that he denies his own heritage is totally appalling.
The reason why so many African-American lives are at danger as a result of police brutality and White supremacy is because many Americans want to pretend that America and the oppression of minorities are not synonymous.
And to pretend that America is so great that people will want to leave Africa to come over here to be slaves is even more repulsive.
Dr. Ben Carson must not know that many slaves moved back to Africa right after emancipation because they wanted true happiness.
He must not know that many slaves put their lives on the line to escape to Canada so they could experience true freedom.
And the good doctor must not know that the enslavement of African-Americans is still ongoing in the form of the prison industrial complex.
To Dr. Ben Carson’s credit, he did walk back his controversial statements about African “immigrants.”
In his official statement after the controversy Carson said, “The slave narrative and immigrant narrative are two entirely different experiences. Slaves were ripped from their families and their homes and forced against their will after being sold into slavery by slave traders. The immigrants made the choice to come to America. They saw this country as a land of opportunity.”
Hopefully, Carson can continue to sharpen up on his history knowledge so that the policies of President Donald Trump’s administration can realize that the American dream they speak so fondly of is still a nightmare for many African-Americans.