Smithsonian: Remove Dr. Ben Carson from the National Museum of African American History
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The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), established in 2003 and opened in 2016, is a magnificant collection of artificacts, stories, and information that tells the story of American History through the lens of Blacks and African Americans. It details our pride, our pain, our culture, and our triumphs through a variety of exhibits and interactive learning opportunities that showcases how we have not only influenced American history, but the world. Through our blood, sweat and tears, we have shaped America - something NMAAHC so beautifully exhibits.
Many great African Americans who have impacted history are highlighted in the museum, including nuerosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson. Though brilliant in his own field of medicine, Dr. Carson has ignored and warped the very history of how African Americans have come to this country. In an address on March 6, 2017 to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which he now heads, Dr. Carson stated, "[America is] a land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less." The characterization of slavery as a form of "immigration" ignores the brutalities and horrors of the African slave trade and American slavery itself. Families were torn apart, Blacks where beaten and killed mercilessly and women where raped repeatedly. Slaves in America were property and were forced to endure labor under inhumane conditions and under a system of racism not seen or experienced since. Slaves didn't work "long and hard for less," but for survival.
All these points are highlighted in NMAAHC. Dr. Carson reducing the truth of our kidnapping from our native land as "immigration" and our forced labor and servitude as simply "working even longer, even harder for less" is not only offensive to the highest degree, but is directly counter to why NMAAHC exists. We feel that highlighting Dr. Carson in the museum is a slap in the face to the African American story and thus request that he be removed from NMAAHC.
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