From ‘The Great Society’ To A $31,000 Dining Set: The Future Of HUD Is In The Hands Of The Mad Hatter

From ‘The Great Society’ To A $31,000 Dining Set: The Future Of HUD Is In The Hands Of The Mad Hatter

Dr. Benjamin Carson is a neurosurgeon by profession. This is a realm of medicine reserved for an elite few. Neurosurgeons are supposed to be physicians of patience, vision, and experience. They are supposed to be the best of the best because the organ they have to assess and know is the brain. The organ that runs every tremendous and minute function of the human body.

There is a neurosurgeon running the Department of Housing and Urban Development. There is no sense to why this is or should be or is continuing. He has no idea what he is doing, should be doing, or needs to be doing.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson created the Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of his ideal of “The Great Society.” As coarse as he could be, President Johnson had the belief the government of a republic or a nation should help its people. The Department of HUD had the written mission to provide housing and community assistance, ensuring everyone has a chance at ‘fair and equal’ housing.

With that said, Dr. Carson grew up in poverty in Detroit, Michigan. His biography reads like a Fox News segment. He was raised in a black, single-parent household. A hard-working mother. His mother was a food stamp recipient. Medicaid was the reason get got glasses to see. He grew up in Section 8 housing. This Section 8 housing voucher is a benefit of the Department of HUD – -the very department Dr. Benjamin Carson has been hired by the rolling dumpster fire of the Trump Administration to oversee. The intelligence of the current administration is on full display in this appointment — as my grandmother would say, “The foxes are in the henhouses.” Dr. Carson is out to help no one but himself, just like his fellow fox Scott Pruitt at the EPA.

Knowing the unique experience of living in Section 8 housing in a large US city, and being black and navigating the obstacles of being poor, black and male, his cognitive dissonance is remarkable. I do not know how he could go from growing up without, knowing what that is like, then upon getting this cabinet appointment, having his wife buy a $31,000 dinette set with taxpayer money. He has given no-bid contracts to his children who are property development, namely his son for a housing development in Baltimore. Watching this unfold feels like being Cassandra out of The Iliad: you are seeing and telling the truth, and no one is believing you.

The cognitive dissonance is staggering because now he wants to triple the rent on those in public housing. For example, if someone’s rent were $50, it would increase to $150 under the guise of telling those living in public housing to ‘be motivated to leave poverty.’ How, Dr. Carson, when you have said this quote regarding your own upbringing:

Image result for ben carson quotes about his childhood

I don’t know this ‘made it on our own’ he speaks of. All these programs he mentions are government-funded programs. His mother, to take care of him, needed the government’s help. The Great Society was working as it should. The Department of Housing and Urban Development was enacted to counteract redlining. From The Washington Post (March 28, 2018):

“In the 1930s, government surveyors graded neighborhoods in 239 cities, color-coding them green for “best,” blue for “still desirable,” yellow for “definitely declining” and red for “hazardous.” The “redlined” areas were the ones local lenders discounted as credit risks, in large part because of the residents’ racial and ethnic demographics. They also took into account local amenities and home prices.

Neighborhoods that were predominantly made up of African Americans, as well as Catholics, Jews and immigrants from Asia and southern Europe, were deemed undesirable. “Anyone who was not northern-European white was considered to be a detraction from the value of the area,” said Bruce Mitchell, a senior researcher at the NCRC and one of the study’s authors.”

One of my favorite quotes from Alice In Wonderland is spoken by Alice when she is talking about her current predicament: “Curiouser and curiouser.” The phrase means ‘increasingly strange.’ This situation can only become more enigmatic and problematic!

Not only is the money from a federal department being siphoned for personal gain — just like the other cabinet departments — but you want to know the really insidious thing? Dr. Ben Carson being a black man, inflicting his incompetence on the lives of other people of minority or marginalized status, is detrimental to the living conditions of the better than a million people who need help in taking care of themselves or children.

We are aware of the problematic nature of public housing all over the country. What the president wanted to do is put a black man over that department because he feels black people are poor, know what its like to be poor, so he will fix the problems facing HUD because ‘those people’ are poor.

Which goes back to the original point. Dr. Benjamin Carson is a neurosurgeon by profession. He is not a contractor. He is not a businessman or even like Shawn Carter — ‘a business, man’. He does not have the professional training to build — his training is to heal. How odd it is that a doctor is in a position which instructs him to build — and all he’s doing is destroying.

Jennifer P. Harris

Jennifer P. Harris

Jennifer P. Harris is a lifelong St. Louis, Missouri resident, married mother of two, and founder of the blog The Ideal Firestarter ( since December 2016. She is a freelance writer, and contributor to the blog Write To Life. She is an independent author of several books available on Amazon, including the poetry series Love Songs Of the Unrequited, and her newest release, Writelife.