NY Times: Carson Shows “Distressing Ignorance on HUD’s Mission”

December 19, 2016
Dr. Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon nominated by President-Elect Trump to become the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)

The editorial board of The New York Times has aimed its wrath at Dr. Ben Carson, the Secretary-Designate of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration, accusing him of being ignorant on what his new job will require and suggesting that he condones racial segregation in housing.

In an editorial titled “Ben Carson’s Warped View of Housing,” the newspaper’s editorial boards tartly questioned the retired neurosurgeon’s intelligence in its opening paragraph: “Antigovernment ideologues resent the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) even when they know nothing about it. Ben Carson, Donald Trump’s choice to run HUD, is a fine case in point.”

The Times’ editors seemed to be aggravated by comments from Dr. Carson—whom they repeatedly referred to as “Mr. Carson,” despite their editorial policy of addressing medical professionals by the “Dr.” title—that HUD engaged in “social engineering” in the locations chosen for some of its subsidized housing. “His comment betrayed a distressing ignorance of HUD’s mission, the laws under which it is supposed to operate and, more broadly, the history of housing segregation in the United States,” the Times continued, adding that “Mr. Carson seemed to suggest that segregation was a natural element of civic life.”

The Times also insisted that Dr. Carson was opposed to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, even though he never voiced any such opposition to this landmark legislation, and gave the impression that he was scheming to ignore the law.

“Mr. Carson would be bound to enforce the Fair Housing Act,” the Times editors stated. “If HUD under his leadership failed to meet its legal responsibilities, it could be hauled into federal court, as has happened several times in the past. Still, the danger is that Mr. Carson could send the message that it is again perfectly fine for governments around the country to return to a policy of racial isolation. Unless he changes his views, he is a poor choice to run this agency.”