During his first address to employees, Housing and Urban Secretary Ben Carson said African slaves were immigrants who came to America with dreams of building a better future for their children and future generations. Merriam-Webster dictionary describes immigrants as people who travel to another country seeking a permanent residence. It is doubtful slaves willingly boarded a ship to put down roots in an unknown country, trading freedom for bondage. Dreams and pursuit of prosperity and happiness would come eventually, of course, but it couldn’t have been an initial thought on the shores of Africa.

Carson began with warning the staff that there will be no favorites or extra services for anybody or any one group, but everyone will receive complete fairness because that is what the founding fathers of this nation had in mind. At some point, he reflected on the United States being the land of opportunity and stating there were other immigrants who arrived here in the bottom of slave ships who worked harder and longer for less. He added that they dreamed that one day their sons, daughters, granddaughters, great-grandsons and so forth might pursue happiness and prosperity in this land.

A change of course in career

The retired neurosurgeon ran opposite Donald Trump for the title of president in 2016.

In his new job capacity, he will manage a budget of almost $50 billion while around 8,000 employees will oversee many of the affordable housing programs. Carson stressed Washington should stay out of folks’ lives as much as possible and let them work out their problems.

Ironically, Great Depression era President Herbert Hoover had this same philosophy.

The new secretary said if people can sit down and talk to one another, they often come up with good solutions. Again, Hoover felt neighbors should be responsible for neighbors as they lined up in soup kitchens and built shantytowns.

The law and Mr. Carson

In Monday’s meeting, Ben Carson also made references to God, the need for self-reliance and the capacity of the brain and said the agency will be extremely vigilant in regards to enforcing the law.

Reportedly, the new HUD chief, who has zero experience in housing policy, focused largely on his experience as a neurosurgeon, but argued that it prepared him to work towards accomplishing the agency’s mission.