Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Monday compared slavery to immigration in the United States, a view that experts on slavery called a misleading read on American history.
Carson, who was confirmed as HUD secretary last week and is the only black member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, was talking about the work ethic and dreams of immigrants who came to the United States through Ellis Island in his first speech at the department.
“There were other immigrants who came here on the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less,” Carson said as he walked across a stage holding a microphone.
Carson later that night called slaves “involuntary immigrants” on a radio show. “Slaves came here as involuntary immigrants but they still had the strength to hold on,” he said on Sirius XM’s “The Armstrong Williams Show.”