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Ben Carson: Reparations For Slavery Are ‘Un-American’
US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary nominee Ben Carson poses for photos before a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on December 7, 2016.
Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

On Sunday, Ben Carson, former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2017 to 2021, took on those on the Left who seek to impose “equity” in the United States and insist that the white majority’s bigotry and oppression of people of color should be answered with reparations for slavery, among other “equity-seeking” methods. Carson wrote, “This goal is not only un-American — it is impossible to attain.”

Writing in The Washington Post, Carson began by noting that people seeking equity had jettisoned Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “ideal of judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin” and replaced it with rewarding and punishing people “because of the color of their skin.” He added, “Rather than equality of opportunity, equity would mandate equality of outcome. This goal is not only un-American — it is impossible to attain.”

Carson posited that those seeking equity believe that “the White majority is guilty of bigotry and oppression, and that all differential outcomes between groups are solely the result of that bigotry and oppression. Equity proponents therefore argue that retributive actions against the majority are necessary to correct those wrongs.”

Carson cited reparations for slavery as well as “hiring programs that specifically recruit racial minorities, campaigns to support only Black-owned businesses and firms that require their board of directors to have a certain percentage of minorities” as examples of this equity-seeking group.

He wrote bluntly, “Proponents of equity see no problem with treating groups of people differently based solely on race, as long as it serves their agenda. This is what we used to call racism, and those not blinded by identity politics still recognize it as such.”

Carson opined that people alive today were “not culpable for misconduct that took place long before they were born, and it would be unjust to hold them responsible for it. It would also be unjust to provide benefits to those who were not actual victims of that misconduct.”

Carson noted the “race- or ethnic-based governance in such places as Lebanon, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia,” pointing out that such governance never works.

“As a child raised by a single mother in Detroit, I certainly experienced racism,” Carson recalled. “But I took responsibility for my own life and achieved more than what equity advocates would say our current system allows. Rather than teach our children that they are victims of a racist system in which they can only be made whole by making people who have done nothing wrong pay for the past sins of others, we should teach them that they are in charge of their own dignity and their own future.”

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