HUD Secretary Ben Carson Pushes Back on Political Correctness

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson criticized the concept of political correctness and says it is “going to destroy our nation.”

According to The Washington Post, last month Carson had expressed concern during a Housing and Urban Development meeting in San Francisco over “big, hairy men” trying to gain access to an Alaska women’s homeless shelter. Several of the meeting attendees had interpreted Carson’s words as dismissive of transgender people.

During a House Financial Services Committee congressional hearing last week, Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., asked Carson if he wanted to apologize for his comment. Carson refused, explaining that he wasn’t referring to transgender women but simply relating a story that the women’s group told him of men expecting to be accepted into the women’s facility despite the rules that were in place.

“I think this whole concept of political correctness: ‘You can say this. You can say that. You can’t repeat what someone said,’ is total foolishness and is going to destroy our nation,” Carson said in his reply to Wexton. “We need to be more mature than that.”

Carson reiterated his opinion on Tony Perkins’ radio show “Washington Watch”: “It’s foolishness, because the First Amendment guarantees people freedom of speech. What political correctness does is it makes people afraid to express themselves. So coming in the back door, it actually suppresses the First Amendment. And we need to be very, very wary of anything that takes away our constitutional rights.”

Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, wrote on his Washington Update blog: “The Obama administration required faith-based groups to leave their faith at the door and pushed bizarre policies that put men in women’s homeless shelters. Thankfully, we have a HUD secretary who understands the principle that has guided America for centuries—equal rights for all, special rights for none. That’s what makes America work, not political correctness.”