SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- President-elect Donald Trump announced his selection for secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Monday. Retired neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate Ben Carson accepted the post, where he will directly oversee “cleansing the brown scourge” that has overtaken and blighted the nation’s inner cities. Although Dr. Carson brings no experience running government programs, sprawling bureaucracies or initiatives supporting diversity, he is an African American who grew up in an inner city. Trump’s transition team explained that Carson is uniquely qualified to lead HUD as “the only urban person Mr. Trump knows and is not frightened by.” Carson has already promised radical overhauls of HUD programs after January.
Installing HUD’s Fifth ColumnDr. Carson has no expertise in implementing or enforcing policy that affects housing. Yet as the New York Times astutely points out: “Raised by a dauntless mother with a grammar-school education who sometimes turned to the government for food assistance, [Carson] stressed in his autobiography that individual effort, not government programs, was the key to overcoming poverty.”
HUD is an agency boasting a $47 billion budget, tasked with allocating those funds to assist over five-million low-income Americans who struggle with making rent or preventing foreclosures. While Carson was raised in an underprivileged environment, he vehemently opposes federal handouts.
“Dr. Carson’s mother toiled in horrendous work conditions for three employers to ensure that her children would not grow up around degenerate minorities in public housing hell holes,” a Trump spokesperson confirmed. “If we want to get rid of the extreme poverty rotting these neighborhoods, we need a black man who avoided that plight to provide a better example for less industrious blacks.”
In a now redacted and withdrawn statement obtained by Bennington Vale Evening Transcript staffers digging through rubbish bins in Baltimore, Dr. Carson clarified the problem with government intervention in urban settings.
You give a man fish, he eats for a day. And the folks living in desperate urban environments just refuse to learn how to fish for themselves. It’s extortion in way. For example, let’s say you run a big manufacturing company like Carrier. You want to stay competitive and cut costs, so you plan to layoff 1,300 workers and ship those jobs off to Mexico. Then some idiot in government panics and promises you $7 million in subsidies and tax breaks. You take the money and fire most of those workers anyway. It’s a scam. It’s the same bulls**t Obama pulled when he bailed out GM and other automakers. Any of them bring labor back or pay off the “loans?” Exactly my point. If we keep giving a bunch of shiftless drug addicts a blank welfare check, with rent money on top, why should they find jobs?
Despite his undeniable qualifications for the HUD post -- Carson is a black man who lives in a house -- his conservative and faith-based stance has sparked concern for community activists and civil rights advocates.
Dr. Carson, for instance, will be required to uphold the tenets of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which includes mandates for funding improvements in poor neighborhoods. It also represents a law that Donald Trump and his father violated in 1973, when they refused to rent space in their properties to African Americans.
“A former Trump superintendent testified that he had been told to mark a ‘C,’ for ‘colored,’ on the applications of black apartment seekers,” the NYT story explained. The Trumps were sued in federal court and had to desegregate their buildings. Representatives for Carson argued that no conflict of interest would exist in his appointment.
“Dr. Carson fully supports the president-elect and his family’s handling of the 1973 incident,” the spokesperson said. “The Trumps were not found guilty. And for all we know, that ‘C’ could have indicated ‘Caucasian.’ It’s not clear. Perhaps if they had marked the applications with an ‘N’ or something. The fact is, Dr. Carson knows firsthand how dangerous black people can be.”
The representative cited a section in Carson’s autobiography Gifted Hands, in which Carson described his violent past. The doctor confessed to attempted battery against his mother, whom he tried to club over the head with a hammer because of a “clothing dispute.” He further recounted how he stabbed a friend in ninth grade, when the individual changed the radio station. The victim’s belt buckle blocked Carson’s nearly fatal swipe.
“If black people are willing to kill their mothers and schoolmates over arguments about fashion and music, it should be no surprise why police shoot first and ask questions later,” the spokesperson added. “Or why hard-working, affluent real estate tycoons would frown on handing these miscreants the keys to a condo.”
Ben Carson Promises Radical Overhaul of HUD ProgramsFor Carson, not having any real experience in government -- or urban redevelopment and housing, in particular -- could make his job easier. Instead of continuing to regulate existing HUD programs or refine them to greater levels of efficiency, Carson seeks to radically reform the agency with the goal of eliminating handouts.
“I don’t know how these cretins live, or how they tolerate the grime and squalor of their lives,” Carson remarked to reporters before a press conference. “I’ve played GTA 5; I assume it’s like that. But not knowing anything about HUD will make it a lot simpler to raze and rebuild.”
Faith-based SupportCarson’s rise to prominence in conservative circles came from his many speeches about replacing government assistance with spiritual and community assistance. During campaigns, Carson has expressed widespread disdain for federal programs devised to curb poverty. He supports replacing these efforts with church-based and community initiatives.
“We the people have the responsibility to take care of the indigent in our society,” he told Republican supporters in February. “It’s not the government’s job.”
Carson would do away with existing HUD programs and use the $47 billion budget to fund the construction of thousands of Seventh-day Adventist churches. There, impoverished minorities can pray and bask in the visionary teachings of prophet Ellen White until their dirty souls are purified by Jesus’ forgiveness, at which point they may receive scholarships to Ivy League medical universities or employment at wages slightly above the minimum threshold.
Labor for LodgingsOne of Carson’s foremost policy reforms could manifest as a new endeavor called “Labor for Lodgings” or “Gigs for Digs,” less formally. The essence of the initiative is simple: indigent and underemployed urbanites struggling to afford decent accommodations would exchange work for housing.
“Gigs for Digs allows poor black people to trade their skills for a roof over their head,” an aide for Carson explained. “It’s a policy that thrived for a long time in the United States. During the 19th century, many immigrants from Africa negotiated deals with wealthy property owners to trade free agency employment for housing. They were given shelter and board by their new employers, at no cost, for tending the crops, handling domestic duties for the family, servicing agricultural equipment, taking care of animals and even providing entertainment.”
Rather than cutting checks for the poor, Carson hopes to revive a similar service-for-shelter arrangement, which he believes offers greater mutual rewards to each party.
Experimental NeurosurgeryCarson, a neurosurgeon by trade, has hinted at the use of medical procedures to fix systemic problems that have plagued members of downtrodden communities for generations. He believes that indolent and idle hands may not be the devil’s work but the byproducts of neurological disorders.
He quoted a series of similar measures taken by German medical pioneers during the 1930s and 1940s. In those studies, the German government placed millions of disabled, dysfunctional and inferior individuals into special work facilities -- with free housing provided -- so they could participate in the country’s economic recovery, performing routine tasks within their abilities.
Soon after, Germany’s most gifted physicians began experimenting on selected subjects to see if they could enhance their functions, repair their cognitive and physical frailties, and restore them to the same levels of superiority as the country’s chosen elite. Using similar techniques, Carson could implement a new layer to HUD, which would use scientific principles to create a productive class of inner-city adults capable of mastering in-demand vocational skills.
HUD’s Up DisplayWorking with technology experts, Carson started formulating the plans for a self-help software system. HUD’s Up Display would present low-income families with a tool to balance budgets, earn degrees through online educational programs, measure progress toward independence, apply for housing loans and find employment opportunities, which are predominantly advertised on the Internet.
“Some of these inner-city folks don’t have computers,” Carson said. “And employers aren’t posting jobs in local newspapers anymore.”
HUD’s Up Display requires a high-speed Internet connection, the proprietary software and is compatible with only MacBook Pro computers. Carson estimated the cost per family to run about $8,000 initially, with a recurring $79.99 charge per month for Internet access and licensing fees.
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