Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Monday referred to American slaves as “immigrants” who dreamed of better lives for their children.That is beyond stupid. I doubt very much that any of the slaves in the holds of the slave ships were thinking: "Wow. Being sent to the Western Hemisphere as a slave is a great opportunity for my descendants."
Carson, making his first speech to the HUD staff since his confirmation last week, said America is a “land of dreams and opportunities” that has drawn millions of people from overseas throughout its history.
“There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less,” he said. “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 may be technically correct about the dictionary definition of immigration. But I submit that immigration involves some degree of volition. Lumping in slaves with other immigrants is nothing more than alternative facts. The people brought to this country, in chains, were not immigrants. To the slavers, they were nothing more than dangerous farm animals.
But I hardly need to rehash the history of slavery and the conditions of the Middle Passage here.
Meanwhile, in other news about the Trumpist Cabinet, Jeff Sessions is telling the Senate that he recused himself because he did nothing wrong.