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Ben Carson clarified statements he made on Monday in which he seemed to describe African slaves as immigrants.
In a statement issued Monday night on his Facebook page, Carson said: “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.”
During a speech earlier Monday, the newly minted Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary appeared to refer to slaves as “immigrants” in an address to department employees on Monday that often veered off-topic.
The original speech transcription read:
“There were 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.”
Carson’s original comments were widely rebuked. Some critics accused him of trying to dismiss the undisputed history of slavery in America.