Slaves were ‘immigrants’ who ‘worked even longer, even harder for less,’ Ben Carson says

Slaves were ‘immigrants’ who ‘worked even longer, even harder for less,’ Ben Carson says
Housing Secretary Ben Carson referred to “other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships” during his first speech to workers at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The shocking remarks incited harsh reactions on social media.

On Monday, in one of his first public appearances since being sworn in as HUD secretary last week, former pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson seemed to equate immigrants with Africans forced into chattel slavery in the US centuries ago.

“That's what America is about: a land of dreams and opportunity,” Carson said. “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,” the former presidential candidate added.

Later Monday, Carson answered critics on the Armstrong Williams Show, saying, "You can be an involuntary immigrant."

"I think people need to actually look up the word immigrant," Carson added. "Whether you're voluntary or involuntary, if you come from the outside to the inside, you're an immigrant. Whether you're legal or you're illegal, you come from the outside to inside, you're an immigrant. Slaves came here as involuntary immigrants, but they still had the strength to hold on."

However, the Trump appointee had already skyrocketed to the top of Twitter’s trending topics, after many tweets blasted Carson, sometimes with a little humor to ease the tension.

Carson also had his defenders, although not as many.