HUD Secretary Ben Carson said that back in his day there was real systemic racism, as he downplayed the systemic racism of today.
TAPPER: Let’s talk about policy.
Do you think systemic racism is a problem in law enforcement agencies in the United States?
CARSON: Let’s say this.
I grew up at a time when there was real systemic racism. I remember, as an eighth grade student, I was the only black student. I got the highest academic achievement. And the teacher got up and berated the other students they weren’t trying hard enough because a black kid was number one.
And that kind of thing was not uncommon when I was growing up. That kind of thing is very uncommon now.
Are there still racists around? Absolutely. There were yesterday, there are today, and there will be tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t fight it.
And this is an opportune time. Right now, people are concentrating on this. We can’t let this moment slip away. We need to deal with some of the issues in the police departments, but it’s — it’s — this is an easy time to do it.
We have policemen who are rogue. The vast majority of policemen are wonderful. But you have some who are rogue. And they can go from one jurisdiction to another jurisdiction, and nobody does anything about it.
They can be wearing body cameras. There are things that can b. Done, but we need to come to mutual solutions about this. And now is the time to do it. Everybody is concentrating on it. Let’s not let this moment slip away.
At the same time, we must be very vigilant about these groups of anarchists who destroy the livelihoods of the very people that they claim to be trying to help.
“I grew up at a time when there was real systemic racism,” US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson says. “We need to deal with some of the issues in the police departments, but it’s an easy time to do it." #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/qnbSuS47jm
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) June 7, 2020
Secretary Carson used a couple of the favorite Republican tactics when downplaying systemic racism. Carson blamed a few bad apples on police forces for racism, as the bad apple excuse is a preferred dodge of Republicans. Carson also implied that since systemic racism is no longer out in the open, like when he was young, it is not as bad, or doesn’t exist.
Systemic racism may have gone underground in many cases, but it is still destructively flourishing in American society.
The Trump administration will never address systemic racism because they refuse to admit that racism is a problem in the United States.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association