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HUD is part of the legacy of slavery, which Ben Carson has failed to grasp

HUD is part of the legacy of slavery, which Ben Carson has failed to grasp

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When I listened to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson compare immigration to slavery, I was transported back to the year 2000, when, as a young reporter, I stood on the sands of Busua Beach in Ghana.

I’d gone there to search out the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but as foam-capped waves crashed against nearby rocks and tears streamed down my cheeks, I discovered myself.

I found that while enslaved Africans left the continent through so-called doors of no return, they survived centuries of forced labor, rape, murder and torture. And despite the impossible odds of their survival, they returned triumphantly through me.

I don’t know whether Carson has ever stood upon shores where enslaved Africans were shipped to the Americas. If he had, I doubt he could say, “There were other immigrants who came in the bottom of slave ships, who worked even longer, even harder, for less” than other immigrants.
If Carson understood the path of the enslaved, he would never say they “had a dream that one day their [children] might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

Simply put, the people who were forced into slave ships wanted to go home.

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Photo: Ben Carson speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Gage Skidmore/ Flickr Creative Commons

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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon.