Ben Carson famously told Trump that he didn’t have the experience to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Ensuring that nominees actually would be able to do their job is a pretty basic part of Trump’s gig. So much for all that talk about what a great manager he’d be. Prior to the election Trump had raved that he would surround himself with “the best people.” But apparently being the best doesn’t always require any experience at all. Still, despite his initial misgivings Carson eventually accepted a role as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; a job for which he is similarly unprepared.
Beyond the fact that he has no idea how to run that department Carson has also made comments that are legitimately frightening. He likened the department’s fair housing program to “failed socialist experiments.” The program is meant to reduce segregation between black and white communities. And it does so with a rather soft approach; only requiring that cities that receive funding examine the data on local segregation and come up with ideas to fight it.
What’s more frightening is that by “failed socialist programs” he’s talking about things that most Americans would find pretty reasonable. He also criticized busing programs from the 1970’s, claiming that they didn’t actually help desegregate and that they were unpopular among both black and white communities. Both claims are false. Not only were busing programs successful and popular but America saw a massive trend of resegregation after they were ended by Reagan Republicans in the 1980’s.
The other main reason that schools have been gradually resegregating in recent decades is because of the rise of charter schools. Another issue which Trump’s administration seems poised to give it’s full support. The current pick for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has spent years lobbying for even more freedom for families with enough money to buy their way into white only schools. Such plans remove even more money from inner city schools that desperately need money for basics like building repairs and books. The money instead goes to schools that already have more than enough and are predominately white.
Meanwhile, in the media Trump’s deplorable spin doctors claim that there is nothing racist going on. They talk over everyone else and bury the conversation in mountains irrelevant statistics. But their policies come straight from the 1950’s and will happily undermine half a century of progress if we allow them.
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