Stop Trivializing Slavery

Target: Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Goal: Publicly apologize for comparing slaves to immigrants and belittling the suffering of African-Americans.

Ben Carson declared slaves were immigrants who came to America and “worked even longer and even harder for less.” These words were said during his first speech as secretary of Housing and Urban Development to illustrate the values of self-determination guiding American society and mark a fresh start to the work of the agency under the new administration. However, by likening African slaves’ forceful removal from their homeland to immigrants’ voluntary journeys, Mr. Carson disregarded the suffering slaves had to endure and how that painful legacy affects their descendants to this day.

Unlike most immigrants, African slaves did not choose to leave their homes in the hopes of creating a better life for themselves and their loved ones — they were violently, forcibly removed and enslaved. By making such a bizarre comparison, Ben Carson ignored the historic impact slavery has had on black Americans.

Mr. Carson is a renowned neurosurgeon and has broken boundaries in his career. Though his professional success should be praised, there is no excuse for any misuse of or disrespect to black history. Sign the petition below and demand a formal apology for his comments.


Dear Secretary Carson,

I demand formal apologies for your comments defining slaves as “involuntary immigrants.” Stating that slaves forcefully brought to this country “worked even longer and even harder for less” is a total misuse of black history and, therefore, a complete disrespect to the suffering black Americans experience today. While immigrants have come to America by choice and moved by their hopes of a better future, slaves were put at the bottom of ships against their will and experienced unimaginable violence and cruelty.

In a moment of critical discussions about racial relations and racism, public officials and figures should contribute with informed and thoughtful comments to the debate. You should set an example and urge Americans to acknowledge African-Americans’ struggles instead of trivializing them.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

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  1. Kathryn Irby says:

    Ben Carson is an “Uncle Tom,” who is so desperate to gain the acceptance of the RepubliKLAN Party. Pathetic creature indeed.

  2. Ben Carson’s attempt to distort the truth about slavery is despicable. And he’s black!

  3. Hey, jackasses, they were immigrants! Anyone not born here is officially/legally an immigrant! Slaves, so? Lots of black slaves were bought & sold by black masters, both in Africa & here! Don’t like true history, do you? Blacks weren’t 1st slaves. Asians, Indians, Irish were slaves before blacks were even heard of!Blacks only ones refusing to mature, get educated, start businesses with “family”, as you call each other, etc. Only ones who to stupid/lazy to do these. Keep proving it. Slaves to each other today, too, called gangs(tribes),etc

  4. You also seem to forget “uncle tom” bamiboy. Daddy owns, buys, sells BLACK slaves!! Not a drop of that in mama’s white blood. Whose the real uncle tom?!? 98% of American ‘blacks’ are zebras, that’s why skin not pure black. Don’t forget, black in many parts of world where not brought as slaves. Don’t like that truth, do you? More black slaves today owned, bought, sold by black masters, too. As today, blacks hired blacks with pay so low they had no choice but to ‘borrow’ $ then charged interest for payback due to ’employer’ i.e. master. Done today, too. Typical. Real family love for zebras in America

  5. Obama said the same thing during a speech (and there is a video) but people conveniently forget that. Aren’t there more important issues to deal with then he said she said…This pettiness is not helping our country move forward. Keep cutting open those old wounds instead of letting them heal. Do something productive and stop the pettiness.

    • I beg to differ. I don’t think it’s pettiness. I think that the rise of various types of racism – white supremacy, Jewish supremacy, and black supremacy for instance – are a huge issue and concern today.
      The acceptance and promotion of racism by political leaders and other people in positions of power is inciting more racism in the general public, which is NOT a good thing. This is something which needs to be addressed and nipped in the bud, before it can grow too big and before it results in full-blown apartheid, as is the case in Israel today.

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