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Ben Carson Defends Comments on Slaves Being Immigrants

UPDATE: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson defended his controversial comments referring to slaves as immigrants. “You can be an involuntary immigrant,” he said later on Monday, March 6, during an interview on SiriusXM’s Armstrong Williams Show. “I think people need to actually look up the world ‘immigrant.’ Whether you’re voluntary or involuntary, if you come from outside to the inside, you’re an immigrant. … Slaves came here as involuntary immigrants.”

After the interview, Carson seemed to backtrack in a statement on Facebook Monday evening. “The slave narrative and immigrant narrative are two entirely different experiences. Slaves were ripped from their families and their homes and forced against their will after being sold into slavery by slave traders. The Immigrants made the choice to come to America,” he wrote. “The two experiences should never be intertwined, nor forgotten, as we demand the necessary progress towards an America that’s inclusive and provides access to equal opportunity for all.”

Original story below 

Um? Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson was slammed on social media on Monday, March 6, after he referred to slaves as immigrants in a speech. Watch the moment in the video above.

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Ben Carson
Ben Carson on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

“That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity,” Carson said while addressing HUD employees in Washington, D.C.. “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.”

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Twitter was quick to slam the newly appointed politician.

“Ben Carson..please read or watch Roots, most immigrants come here VOLUNTARILY, cant’t really say the same about the slaves..they were stolen,” Whoopi Goldberg tweeted in response to Carson’s speech, while Samuel L. Jackson added: “OK!! Ben Carson….I can’t! Immigrants ? In the bottom of SLAVE SHIPS??!! MUTHAFUKKA PLEASE!!! #dickheadedtom.”

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Chelsea Clinton also reacted to Carson’s ill-informed speech. “This can’t be real. Slaves were not & are not immigrants. 2017,” she tweeted.

Read more reactions below:

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