Ben Carson just dropped another comment that will most likely make Black folks sound the alarm again. The secretary for the U.S. Department Of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) wants to remove the word “urban” from the agency’s name.
“I believe that there has not been enough emphasis on rural poverty. It’s very substantial. In fact, I’ve been making an argument that we ought to change the name of my agency to ‘Housing and Community Development,’ because a lot of people don’t live in the urban areas,” Carson said in an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio this week about the department devoting more resources to rural areas affected by poverty.
There are just so many questions about this name change proposal, considering that Carson has lost pretty much all credibility among Black folks for routinely causing injury. If it’s not Carson saying that African-American slaves are immigrants, it is comments like his latest that just cause folks pain.
It is known that “urban” is taken to be a dog-whistle way of referring to “Black.” This removal of “urban” can be taken in a negative way, especially given Trump’s recent racist “shithole countries” comments.
NewsOne spoke to a Carson representative about the quote, which we were told was “misinterpreted.” Here’s what HUD spokesperson Raphael “Raffi” Williams had to say:
“The quote is about how people don’t always think about the great work the department does in rural areas. Issues of affordable housing and homelessness, for instance, do not just impact urban areas. HUD’s mission statement reads, “HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.” The “for all,” is important here because it includes urban, suburban, and rural communities. Under the Secretary’s leadership, HUD will continue to help all Americans, regardless of how the census defines their communities.”
Yes, the issues of affordable housing and homelessness are not just urban issues, however, they greatly affect communities of color more, as various studies have shown. There are whole communities of Black folks who feel they are losing under Trump, as others have gained under his administration. Words such as those that come from Carson are not helping the matter at all. Housing and homelessness should be addressed in every city: Black folks just want to know that they will receive the same concern as everyone else. Folks shouldn’t have to worry about losing housing aid programs and more resources.