Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson stood by his statements that slaves were like immigrants while speaking on a radio show Monday.
Carson compared slaves to immigrants who were paid less when addressing HUD staff for the first time. (RELATED: Ben Carson Makes Baffling Claim About Slaves Brought To America [VIDEO])
“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.”
A woman called in to the Armstrong Williams show to criticize Carson for his comparison.
“Yes, you can. You can be an involuntary immigrant,” Carson explained. He went on to tell people to look at the definition of “immigrant.”
“Whether you’re voluntary or involuntary. If you come from outside to the inside, you’re an immigrant. Whether you’re legal or illegal,” Carson said. “Slaves came here as involuntary immigrants. But they still had the strength to hold on.”
Carson took a lot of heat for his comments as people accused him of being insensitive towards the history of slavery.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development also defended Carson, calling people’s outrage “a cynical interpretation” of his speech.
“This is the most cynical interpretation of the Secretary’s remarks to an army of welcoming HUD employees. No one honestly believes he equates voluntary immigration with involuntary servitude!” the department tweeted out.
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