America’s most controversial neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, claims he will be stepping down from his position as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) after this presidential term. This will mean President Trump’s only Black cabinet member will be exiting the White House in 2020.
Carson’s tenure has been riddled with scandal ever since he took office. Carson, who was an unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2016, was a neurosurgeon in his former career. Trump was criticized for appointing him as the HUD director, even though he had no experience in housing, executive management or government.
Carson’s track record at HUD hasn’t been impressive. He paid six-figure salaries to his appointed employees, that had little or no housing experience. Carson gave political posts to many inexperienced in housing, but part of Carson’s and Trump’s political campaign teams.
His raises resulted in salaries ranging from $98,000 to $155,000 for five appointees. Three of the appointees did not have a college degree. His spending was indirectly funded by increased rents to families receiving housing assistance through HUD.
It was thought that putting Carson in that position might help eliminate discriminatory housing practices that run rampant in the United States. However, Carson has discontinued many of the policies that former President Obama specifically created to address long-standing patterns of segregation in housing.
What once was viewed as an opportunity to rid communities of racial bias in housing, Carson opted for deregulation. He claimed that the regulations were too burdensome on cities. He also up-ended another of Obama’s policies holding banks and landlords liable for discriminatory practices in lending and housing.
Many of the HUD employees who helped to establish these policies were outraged that Carson was more focused on deregulation than he was in defending low-income families from discriminatory practices.
In an interview with Newsmax this week, when Carson was asked about continuing as HUD Director, he responded, “I would be interested in returning to the private sector, because I think you have just as much influence—maybe more—there.”
In a Senate oversight hearing in March 2018. Senator Elizabeth Warren announced, “Don’t get me wrong, I think scamming the taxpayers is a scandal, but the biggest scandal of your tenure is your unwillingness to do your job and enforce the laws that reduce housing discrimination and segregation across this country.”
Warren further chastised him, saying, “It is HUD’s job to help end housing discrimination—that’s what the law said. You said you would enforce these laws, you haven’t, and I think that’s the scandal that should get you fired.”