I never cease to be amazed at the callous doublespeak, seeing to be compassionate in one sentence, while advocating harsh treatment in the very next sentence. The practitioners of this sort of deception that I have found so far are Dick Grote, Wardell Connerly, and, the topic of this post, Ben Carson.
At an oversight hearing for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Carson was the witness for HUD, advocating for $6 billion of cuts to the HUD budget (13% of its total budget). Carson was once revered for his surgery on conjoined twins at Johns Hopkins University Hospital; he has for some reason misused that adulation to justify withering attacks on the poor.
The poor exist because it is a product of capitalism–some people have so much that they hoard the cash, cash which is taken from others in the society, who suffer from enduring lack of cash. It is the reason that capitalism must be moderated by a responsible government, lest the entire system collapse.
I do not give a millimeter to Carson; it is disgusting that he uses his black skin and life story of poverty not to help others in similar circumstances but rather to hurt them. He is not the only one: He is joined by Wardell Connerly, David Clarke, Larry Elder, and others.
As Representative Al Green (D-Tx.) commented at the hearing (beginning at approximately 2:55:05), Carson argues–in a false calm tone–to destroy others and justify taking more from the vulnerable so that the rich can get more cash.
In addition, while demanding the vulnerable to act perfectly, Carson himself was woefully unprepared for the hearing. Carson was more interested in posturing before the cameras and receiving praise from the GOP committee members as opposed to knowing the specifics about the budget cuts he was proposing.
Carson, net worth $22 million, had the gall to complain that Rep. Green ascribed to him opinions that were not his (regarding his statement on poverty being a “state of mind”), ignoring that he had not answered Rep. Green’s questions.
In fact, his statements in the interview with Armstrong Williams on SiriusXM engage in a cunning lecture of victim blaming, demand of “personal responsibility”, and rejection of government moderation of the wicked nature of capitalism.
“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind. You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there,” he said during an interview on SiriusXM Radio with Armstrong Williams, a longtime friend.
“And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom,” Carson said.
All of this is in the context of the United States’ centuries of white hegemony. As a result, Carson’s statements are really a stunning, yet hidden, defense of the status quo. Rep. Green was right to bring this to his attention as well as make Carson live up to the demands of his own words (namely, to state specifically which programs were to be cut). Carson failed spectacularly, and so do his words.