Tuesday, March 7, 2017

another dumbo in D.C.

In yet another example of the brain-damaged, you-know-what-he-means governance exemplified by the newly-enscoced Republican majority in Washington...

Ben Carson, the new secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), on Monday referred to slaves brought to the United States against their will as "immigrants," drawing quick condemnation from civil rights groups who cast his remarks as offensive....
"There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less," said Carson, who is African-American.
"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," he said.
Enslaved Africans did not voluntarily come to the United States and were denied freedom for hundreds of years. [Reuters]
It is worth noting that Reuters felt it necessary to add an explanatory note -- last line of abover-quoted -- for those who may be too ignorant to understand the gaff. The ignorance thermometer seems to be rising with the governmental appointment of (largely) rich, white men. Carson is brown ... which may be an excuse for his stupidity ... or is that too a really dumb remark?

Oh well, my intentions were good, dontcha know.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marching_Morons

  2. Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.

  3. I'm no language expert but is it really so incorrect to say that slaves brought in were immigrants, even if against their own will?

    Sounds like political correctness strikes again, much ado about nothing to me... Or maybe that's me being stupid. Maybe I'm excused for being a halfling latino...

  4. Anon -- "Immigrant" carries with it a sense of voluntary movement. Being coerced to move may make someone a migrant -- someone on the move -- but an "immigrant??"

  5. I see your point Adam, reading what he said I just interpreted the word immigrant the way you did with migrant, which in my mind mostly distinguishes the direction; immigrant as moving in, migrant as moving.

    Language is a pain. There is basic and simple meaning and there is conveyed and interpreted meaning. I suppose since most people think of immigrants as people voluntarily moving, there is an argument for questioning the choice of words... but to make such a fuss?

    Also, it's worth considering that there are involuntary voluntary moving people; people that migrate vokuntarily but would rather not, doing it because they feel having little choice or opportunities back at home.

    I don't know... I see the point, but just feels like starting a blaze because someone lighted a match, using a very simple metaphor.

    Words are important, for sure, but I get the sense that interpretation skills are somewhat lacking these days, especially with regards to intent.

    In the context of his words, it seems quite obvious he was simply referring to people moving from home to another place, regardless of want.

  6. Anon -- 1. The cops/legally-inclined have line that reads, "Ignorance is no excuse." It's a pretty tall order, when applied, but for social stability, it's probably a compromise that needs to be made ... fuck up and pay the price. Carson's gaff is made more glaring by the presumption that a physician of his standing would have an education others might kill for ... i.e. he's not some poor fellow who grew up in a dog-eat-dog back alley where a little latitude might be extended based on a background of ignorance.

    2. If it doesn't offend you too much, would you pick a nickname other than "anonymous"? It allows others to know which "anonymous" person is speaking.

  7. Also, considering that a large enough portion of immigrants end up taking underpaid overwork that locals often rather not do, my feelings are the analogy does have some sense. Surely we cannot compare the ply of such voluntary movers to those endured by slaves, but a lot of them do end up living and working as a kind of subclass citizens, if compared to local folk, sometimes even in subhuman conditions.

    I just see more sense in the analogy, poor as it may be, than in making a big fuss about it.

    But that's my view, not so important anyway...

    1. As I said, I see your point and those of his critics, it just feels he's being targeted when everybody knows he would not have thought of slaves as voluntary movers or immigrants as involuntary ones, despite the fact that a lot of them move not because they really love the thought of doing it, but because they feel they have little choice; kind of "involuntarily by force", even if not the physical type.

      I'll think of a nickname, just being lazy really, sorry for that.