Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) ripped into Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson in a speech Saturday, saying Carson “doesn’t care about people in public housing.”
“[Carson] knows nothing about the mission of HUD,” Waters said in a speech at the Essence Festival in New Orleans. “He doesn’t care about people in public housing. He believes that if you are poor, it is your own fault. And he doesn’t know the difference between an immigrant and a slave.”
Waters was referring to Carson’s remarks at a March event for HUD employees in which he referred to slaves brought to America as “immigrants.”
“That’s what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity,” Carson had said. “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less.”
Carson also said in May that poverty was “a state of mind.”
“You take somebody that has the right mindset, you take everything from them and put them on the street and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there,” he said in a SiriusXM radio interview in May. “And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.”
Waters also warned Carson that she would be tough on him when he testifies before the House Financial Services Committee, of which she is the ranking member.
“[If he] thinks that I am going to give him a pass, I am going to take his ass apart,” Waters said.