Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson meets with city and housing officials inside a shelter in Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Carson said Wednesday he expects to release a policy agenda within the next few months that delivers “bang for the buck,” partly by encouraging more private-sector collaboration. (AP Photo/Dake Kang)
On Tuesday, Democratic Virginia Rep. Jennifer Wexton gave Ben Carson an opportunity.
From the mound of morality, she went into a woke wind-up.
With her eagle eyes and dextrous throwing arm, she bullseyed the pitch.
Ben watched the ball wizz forth.
The tip of his Louisville Slugger wiggled in the air, his elbow remained cocked.
Pop! — the sound of stitching and hide hitting the leather Mizuno mitt.
Did Ben strike out?
He passed on the chance to apologize.
His follicular foul-up was saying women in shelters don’t want “big, hairy men” staying there.
Kamala Harris was stunned:
“Shameful. These derogatory comments by Secretary Carson are part of a long pattern that shows his disregard for the transgender community. It’s simply unacceptable.”
19 Black trans women have been killed this year because comments like Ben Carson’s normalize violence against them.
As HUD Secretary, I protected trans people, I didn’t denigrate them.https://t.co/yibDnZAypj
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) September 20, 2019
Of course, compared to women, men are big. And men are hairy.
But we live at a time, it appears, when stating a reality is perceived as attacking it.
At the time, Ben tried to explain himself to Tucker Carlson:
“[I] quoted a group that came to me, and they were very upset, and they said, you know, ‘A big hairy man came in here and he says he’s a woman, and that upsets us because many of us are trying to escape that.’ But the political correctness says, ‘You have to say what we want you to say,’ and that will destroy freedom of speech. And I’ve offered transgender groups the opportunity to let me know what their solution would be so that everybody’s rights are observed. I haven’t heard one peep.”
Fast-forward to Tuesday, when Jennifer pitched her best heat.
Rather than saying sorry, he offered this:
“Well, first of all, I didn’t describe transgender women that way. I was relating a story that a women’s group told me about big hairy men – who are not transgender women by the way – coming into your facility and having to be accepted because of the rules that were in place.”
“You don’t feel the need to apologize for those comments?” Jennifer asked.
“No. I think this whole concept of political correctness — you can say this, you can’t say that, you can’t repeat what someone said — is total foolishness and is going to destroy our nation. And we need to be more mature than that.”
Jennifer went with the ol’ “hate” characterization, which I lament, as it’s robbed the word of all meaning. Hate is an emotion; it doesn’t regard ideological disagreement.
Today I gave @SecretaryCarson the opportunity to apologize for his remarks slurring transgender women as, “big, hairy men.”
Regrettably, he declined that opportunity.
Hateful words translate into discriminatory policy—and Secretary Carson has demonstrated that time and again. pic.twitter.com/W1p7QGfGl2
— Rep. Jennifer Wexton (@RepWexton) October 22, 2019
Nor does it allow for discussion or growth. And Ben thinks the political conversation in America needs to grow up.
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