Days after President Donald Trump insulted the city of Baltimore, particularly the district which Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings oversees, as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson attempted to show up and explain all the things that the Trump administration has done to improve urban areas.
According to the Baltimore Sun, HUD officials were hoping to host a press conference in a vacant lot. As it turns out, that lot belonged to the Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ, who said that they were never asked permission to use the space, and upon seeing the strangers on their land, promptly asked them to move.
“It’s nothing personal,” church member Gregory Evans told the Sun. “I didn’t know it was Secretary Carson. I just know there were a bunch of people over there that were taking over our site. And we said, ‘Why are they here?’ They’ve not even asked for permission to be here.”
So Evans asked them to move, and HUD officials then decided to take the news conference out to an adjacent alley, sparking Carson’s ire.
“We just have all this animosity all the time,” Carson told reporters during the press conference, according to the Sun. “For instance, you guys know, you were set up on this property, and right here is this church that said: ‘Get off our property.’ You know, a church? When we’re talking about helping the people. I mean, this is the level to which we have sunken as a society.
“What I’m saying is, you know, we have a society in which people, instead of trying to be helpful, think only about themselves. That is a problem,” Carson added.
Evans for his part, brushed off Carson’s criticism, noting that the church does plenty to serve the community, including offering addiction counseling and helping those in need with clothes and food. Trump’s HUD, however, Evans claimed, has done little to help the neighborhood.
HUD sent a last minute invitation to Rep. Cummings to meet with Carson, but Cummings declined due to schedule conflicts.