Bloomberg/Getty Images
Michael Arceneaux
Mar, 21, 2018

Ben Carson has long fascinated me because it's not everyday you come across a brain surgeon who speaks with the levels of asininity and absurdity as he does.

As I've written in the past, this is a man who once claimed President Obama was a "psychopath" while likening Obamacare to slavery. He is also the same person who once argued that the prison system proves that same sex attraction is a choice while also positioning homosexuality as akin to bestiality. And as we witnessed throughout the 2016 GOP presidential primary, he knows absolutely nothing about government. Of course, he made all of these ridiculous comments in his trademark cadence: a mesh of Eeyore and any track that OG Ron C gets to play with for a chopped up, not slopped up themed mixtape.

In spite of all of this, though, Dr. Ben Carson has managed to be rewarded with a job running a multi-billion dollar agency centered on an area he knows absolutely nothing about.

Much of that has to do with him pledging allegiance to the same party that would elect a real estate charlatan who can't even be trusted to proofread his own tweets. I, too, have written about the likelihood that Carson would be a disaster as the head of HUD and by and large he has been. When he's not doing embarrassing profiles that expose his inability to run the agency, he's granting additional interviews in which he will claim the Bible is helping him kick folks out of housing along with him removing anti-discrimination language from the HUD mission statement. HUD was arguably already doing that in practice, but Carson is nonetheless, a Black face to discriminatory practices. To that end, congratulations, Uncle Ben, for making the mess any reasonable person knew you'd likely create.

But even though he has been the destructive force he was designed to be, there is word spreading that as the Trump administration gives way to a massive shift in its cabinet as far as the Chief of Staff, National Security Advisor, and Attorney General goes, that Carson may find his way pushed out. Why? Well, he's embarrassing his boss, a man with very little shame.

Unsurprisingly, it is a controversy of Carson's own creation: the purchase of a $31,000 furniture set for his Department of Housing and Urban Development dining room (and a follow-up explanation that lazily blames his wife and evokes that all-too familiar trope of women excessively shopping). 

Last month, HUD spokesman Raffi Williams told CNN, "Mrs. Carson and the secretary had no awareness that the table was being purchased." Carson himself released a statement in which he said he was "surprised" by the purchase. Here's where actually knowing something about government might have come in handy when stirring trouble as the head of a government agency.

There's this whole thing called the Freedom of Information Act in which people can ask for records to counter false narratives. American Oversight, a liberal watchdog group led by former Obama administration officials, used it to confirm the following: Ben Carson and his wife knew all about it. In fact, an August email from a career administration staffer to Carson's assistance referred to "printouts of the furniture the Secretary and Mrs. Carson picked out." Even better: the subject line was "Secretary's dining room set needed."

In a separate email, Aida Rodriguez, an administrative officer in HUD's executive office, wrote that she found the dining room set had "a very reasonable price." I mean, I guess it does if taxpayers are footing the bill.

Ask and ye shall receive.

The order in question was canceled weeks ago, but the fact remains that not only is Ben Carson running a government agency into the ground, he decided to spend tens of thousands of tax payer dollars on the finest of furniture to sit his ass on in order to do so. Worse, he then proceeded to lie about it when called it. Naturally, now Ben Carson is pumping his chest as if he gives a damn about any of this.

So, Ben Carson hired someone to monitor people like Ben Carson? I wouldn't put so much faith in this given Carson's hiring practices. The Guardian just reported on HUD adviser Naved Jafry having to resign following an inquiry of his record. Translation: he pretended to be a multi-millionaire with many connections, yet a few minutes on the Google clocked that he was a fraud. This was a man calling for a swath of privatization of American cities with a resume that belonged in the fiction section of the book stores we have left. Forgive me if I don't trust the person who would keep that guy around to hire someone who can actually combat waste and fraud.

I have another suggestion for Ben Carson: channel vintage JoJo and leave, get out. Go back to doing work actually related to your skill set like say, being a neurosurgeon. I know you've had fun being a Black cheerleader for white nationalism under the guise of conservatism, but you need to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. Yes, I'm quoting Kenny Loggins again, but Kenny Loggins knew what the hell he was talking. Ben Carson, on the other hand, rarely does outside of his calling.

It's about time he returns to that and spare us all.