Earlier this year, after Ben Carson dropped out of the race and endorsed Trump, he hinted that he had been promised a cabinet position. And sure enough, Trump made good on his promise: earlier this week, the President-elect announced that Carson was declared secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In an official statement, Trump hailed Carson’s “brilliant mind” and his passion for “strengthening communities and families”.
Since Trump’s victory, Carson has downplayed any potential role in the Trump Administration, saying that as a man who never held political office, he didn’t know if he had a place as a federal bureaucrat. However, he was excited about the opportunity to serve the communities of America, and accepted the offer from Trump. While the HUD seems like an odd place for a retired neurosurgeon with no political experience, it’s not as farfetched as you may think. Raised in inner City Detroit by a single mother who struggled to make ends meet, Carson is a man who understands the decline of various cities around the country. In his autobiography, Carson wrote of relying on food stamps and only doing well at school after he got a free pair of glasses that allowed him to see what was written on the chalkboard.
During his primary race, Carson spoke often about the HUD and the various issues it faces. As somebody who grew up in a community where many lived in rough public housing projects and received government subsidies to pay rent, Carson has been critical of public assistance programs that make poor people “dependent” on the government.
As one of Trump’s more high-profile black supporters, Carson’s position allows him to serve as Trump’s unofficial “envoy” to America’s black community, and spearhead Trump’s movement to reform “America’s blighted and dangerous inner cities”. In recent years, various cities across the country have started to jump back, jumpstarted by an influx of young professionals. In his new position, Ben Carson will hopefully be able to stimulate the growth and recovery of these cities.