WASHINGTON—Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the announcement that neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson will be nominated to be the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all:
“This announcement is baffling and troubling to the civil and human rights community.
It is baffling because Dr. Carson, while undoubtedly a highly accomplished pediatric neurosurgeon, has no experience in working on housing policy – and the fact that he once lived in public housing is a weak basis for deeming him qualified. He even reportedly said, prior to this announcement, that he would not be interested in a cabinet position because of his inexperience.
The little we do know about Dr. Carson’s views on housing discrimination is troubling. He is on record for opposing recent housing desegregation efforts under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, one of the nation’s most important civil rights laws. The failure to ensure Fair Housing Act compliance was a major contributing factor to the 2008 housing crisis, and we are concerned that Dr. Carson will attempt to roll back – or allow Congress to roll back, with even more lasting consequences – the important progress that has been made in recent years.
We urge President-elect Trump to reconsider this nomination and to select a nominee who is dedicated to promoting fair, affordable, and sustainable housing free from discrimination for all Americans.”
Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.