HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Sunday urged Americans to stop being offended “by everything” and to “grow up.”
Carson, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, made the comments on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos after being asked about President Trump’s acceptance speech being scheduled in Jacksonville, Fla., on Aug. 27, the 60th anniversary of a KKK mob attacking mostly black civil rights protesters in that city.
“Is it appropriate to be having a convention speech on that anniversary in that city?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“We’ve reached a point in our society where we dissect everything and try to ascribe some nefarious notion to it,” Carson said. “We really need to move away from that. We need to move away from being offended by everything, of going through history and looking at everything, of renaming everything. I mean, think about the fact that some of our universities, some of our prestigious universities, have a relationship with the slave trade. Should we go and rename those universities?
“It really gets to a point of being ridiculous after a while,” he said. “And, you know, we’re going to have to grow up as a society.”
Earlier, Carson said the U.S. can only be destroyed if Americans “destroy ourselves.”
“We have to stop putting everything into the arena of combat. Let’s see if we can find a way to work together because if we don’t, we’re doomed,” he said.
Carson also pushed back on criticism of Trump’s suggestion to governors of “dominating the streets.”
“There are lots of different ways to express things,” Carson said. “I believe what’s being said there is obviously we cannot submit to anarchy. I think we would all agree with that. We might not all express it the same way, but we would all agree with it. And we’ve got to begin to look at the big picture, what is the thing that we’re aiming to do, not what someone said this day or that day.”
Stephanopoulos asked Carson, a medical doctor, if it was appropriate for Trump to hold campaign rallies again.
“I think if it’s done in conjunction with the public health experts, which it is being done in conjunction with them, that’s quite acceptable,” Carson said. “We do need to always, all of us, need to do what we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but it is very important that we utilize what we have learned about the disease so that we can live with it, rather than allow it to dominate us and determine how we’re going to live.”