As I noted yesterday, the pitchforks are out for newly confirmed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson over comments in which he intimated that African slaves brought to these shores in chains were “immigrants.”
Among the more strident voices raised up in protest against Carson’s insensitivity were those of Samuel L. Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, and The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, who — to his credit — made light of Carson’s “gaffe.” (Contrast that with Jackson, who was typically obscene, and Goldberg, who was foolishly pedantic.)
But as so often happens, there is a footnote to the story that reveals a thick streak of hypocrisy on the part of those aggrieved. Ben Carson, it turns out, was not the only black man in government to refer to slave as immigrants. Jackson, Goldberg, and company appear to have overlooked another speech from 2015 that contains this observation:
Certainly it wasn’t easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily, and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves. [Emphasis added]
The speaker? Barack Obama. The occasion was the naturalization ceremony of people who emigrated to this country through legal channels and sought and qualified for citizenship. And even this was but one of eleven occasions when the former president made similar remarks.