As scores of Democrats (and some Republicans) accuse President Trump of racism for telling a group of anti-American, anti-Semitic progressive women — whom he deemed the "Squad" — to "go back" where they "came from" if they hate America so much, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has come to the president's defense.
"I have an advantage of knowing the president very well, and he's not a racist and his comments are not racist," Ben Carson said on "America's Newsroom," according to Fox News. "But he loves the country very much and, you know, he has a feeling that those who represent the country should love it as well."
The president ignited a firestorm on Twitter on Sunday when he targeted Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for trashing the United States.
“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” he tweeted. "Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done."
In response to those who called the tweet racist, Ben Carson said that President Trump's policies have been explicitly beneficial to minorities by providing them employment opportunities and affordable housing. "Look at his policies, you know, under this president you see the rising tide lifting all boats. You see low unemployment ... record-low for blacks, for Hispanics ... for all the demographics of our nation," he said.
Ben Carson highlighted President Trump's support for "opportunity zones," which he said has been especially helpful to minority communities.
"What's happening in some of these places is just astonishing. And talking to some of those people there ... they say I didn´t think this could ever happen," said Carson. "And just a couple of weeks ago, the president signed an executive order establishing a council on eliminating the barriers to affordable housing. Who's going to benefit from that? So when you have somebody who's spending this much time and this much effort, trying to elevate those who are vulnerable and who are suffering in our society — I think we should pay a lot more attention to what they are doing than what anybody is saying."
In the same interview, the famed neurosurgeon condemned the concept of victimhood as a crippling effect on society, which prevents people from achieving their full potential.
"I have to look at my own situation, born and growing up in dire poverty with a lot negativity around me, but also, recognizing that I lived in a place where, you know, through the help of my mother, who helped me to realize that I wasn't a victim, that I had access to all kinds of things," said Carson. "And [I] was able to go on, become a neurosurgeon, now a cabinet member, and these are things that we want people to recognize in our nation and that's why we want to create opportunities for them."
"All the policies that we're now espousing deal with creating self-sufficiency in people and in those people who cannot become self-sufficient, making sure that we take care of them in the most efficient and effective manner."