WARNING: Tweets featured in this article contain strong language.
On March 6, newly-minted Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Dr. Ben Carson, gave a speech before employees of the organization. During the speech, he made a controversial remark, referring to African slaves as "immigrants."
Here's the quote that has progressives outraged:
"That’s what America is about--a land of dreams and opportunity. There were 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."
To read the quote in context, as well as The Daily Wire's analysis on the controversy, click here.
Social media reacted swiftly, with celebrities and commentators skewering Carson:
OK!! Ben Carson....I can't! Immigrants ? In the bottom of SLAVE SHIPS??!! MUTHAFUKKA PLEASE!!!#dickheadedtom— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) March 6, 2017
Since Ben Carson thinks slaves were immigrants then he must think Jews were guests at the Nazi Summer Camp. #SlavesAreNotImmigrants— Eric Guster, Esq (@EricGuster) March 7, 2017
Not only does Ben Carson think slaves were immigrants pursuing the American Dream, they also never thanked slavers for the free boat ride.— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) March 6, 2017
Just in case you thought the Cn Train couldn't go any faster. Ben Carson took it to full speed https://t.co/PM6SbmPYky— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) March 6, 2017
Actual slave ships vs. Ben Carson's idea of slave ships. pic.twitter.com/cPZwIlHU84— quinta b. (@quintabrunson) March 7, 2017
Carson is a DumbFuck... I been said that.. https://t.co/OvmbokFHnr— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) March 7, 2017
Our Ancestors didn't have a "CHOICE" you IDIOT!!!! Ben Carson, you are Hopelessly Ignorant. Again, Kids... look the other way...Please.— Christopher Jackson (@ChrisisSingin) March 7, 2017
Tuesday, The Washington Free Beacon published a side-by-side video featuring Ben Carson's remarks alongside those made during a 2015 speech by then-President Barack Obama--and they were eerily similar:
OBAMA: "And perhaps, like some of you, these new arrivals might have had some moments of doubt, wondering if they had made a mistake in leaving everything and everyone they ever knew behind...So life in America was not always easy. It wasn't always easy for new immigrants. Certainly it wasn't easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily, and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves.
There was discrimination and hardship and poverty. But, like you, they no doubt found inspiration in all those who had come before them. And they were able to muster faith that, here in America, they might build a better life and give their children something more."
Almost immediately following the Free Beacon story, the celebrities and commentators who castigated Dr. Ben Carson took to social media to apologize.
Tariq Nasheed said: "Wow. I guess I should have thought about it more before I called Carson a c**n. I'm truly sorry." ICE-T offered a similar apology, writing: "I hate eating crow, but admitting fault is the right thing to do. It was very foolish of me to call Ben Carson a dumbf***. So sorry!"
Perhaps the most thoughtful statement came from Samuel L. Jackson, who some would argue offered the most brutal commentary: "I am deeply sorry for what I said Monday. I should have slept on it before calling Ben Carson a MUTHAF***A, and a d***headedtom. Frankly, I'm incredibly embarrassed."
Oh wait--none of that happened. No retractions; no apologies; no mention that Carson's language directly mirrored Obama's.
It's funny how that works, isn't it?