NBJC Opposes Dr. Ben Carson to Lead the Department of Housing & Urban Development
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, opposes President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to be the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. NBJC Executive Director & CEO, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, released the following statement in opposition to his nomination:
“HUD is the federal agency responsible for creating strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. Dr. Ben Carson’s record does not reflect the credentials to lead this agency. Yes, he was an extremely gifted neurosurgeon that inspired people all around our nation with his autobiography Gifted Hands, especially Black Americans. His personal story of triumph and perseverance over major odds serves as a beautiful example of hope for all Americans. However, his background, growing up to be one of the most prolific physicians in the medical field or failed GOP presidential candidacy in 2016, does not give him the experience or skill set to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“HUD was established in the late 1960s under President Johnson as a result of the work of so many in the Civil Rights Movement to end the evils of segregation in our public square. Since then the work of this agency has provided vital programs like the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS or HOPWA program, which addresses the unique housing and service needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. The mandate of this agency and programs like HOPWA are in serious jeopardy when you have a nominee that has described fair housing policies as ‘mandated social-engineering schemes’ that are ‘downright dangerous.’ On top of this concerning rhetoric, Dr. Carson has zero experience working in government or dealing with housing policy in any regard. In addition, HUD has the responsibility of protecting all Americans from housing discrimination, which is problematic for Dr. Carson as he has been on record describing transgender people as ‘abnormal’ and promoting the idea that states should pass ‘right-to-discriminate legislation’ that would allow businesses to refuse services to LGBTQ people, which would have devastating impacts on housing opportunities if this type of attitude is placed into policy at HUD.
“On another note, I find it truly sad that out of all the successful and qualified African Americans that could serve in his administration, Dr. Carson is the only Black nominee who Donald Trump has selected to lead a cabinet-level position in the next government of our nation. Visibility matters and the fact that this incoming administration is one of the least diverse, on top of being one of the most controversial, in our nation’s history is beyond troubling. As Americans, we have a duty to speak truth to power in order to ensure that this country continues to progress to be a ‘more perfect union.’ The nomination of Dr. Ben Carson does not ensure this progression, and NBJC will oppose his nomination to lead HUD and urge the Senate to deny his confirmation.”
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