OREO or REO, No Matter Carson Is Still Trump’s Guy

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

When word leaked out that Trump would appoint Ben Carson as HUD Secretary, no one seemed more taken aback than Carson. He publicly declared that he had no experience running a government agency. Many took this to mean that even Carson knew that he was way over his head in trying to run an agency tasked with overseeing and administering the dizzying array of programs. How dizzying? HUD ladles out billions annually in public housing subsidies, rental assistance, and housing finance activities, employs more than 8000 workers and administrators and operates more than 100 subsidy programs. HUD’s task is to shore up America’s perennial housing needs, especially for the poor.

Still, to think that Carson might say no to the job, they misread Carson and Trump. Trump wanted him for two obvious reasons, and one less obvious. One, he owed Carson big time for withstanding all the abuse heaped on him for being the lonely Black to tout Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. The other tracked back to the first reason. He is Black and Trump needed at least one name Black as a cover to parade around to prove he was not the racist that Blacks near universally are amply convinced he is.
Then there was the other reason. By the time Trump took the oath of office, Carson had carved out a well-documented reputation as being a first-class ignoramus with a litany of off-beat, nonsensical quips on anything that came to mind such as calling the Affordable Care Act the worst thing since slavery.

This was the stuff of snickers, chuckles, and lampooning when Carson was simply private citizen Carson, or, the mercifully brief, failed GOP presidential candidate Carson. Few then could ever imagine that Carson would ever be able to act on any of his rabid antique ultra-right notions of how a government should be run. However, as Trump’s HUD boss, he was in the perfect position to give free rein to his basest impulses about government.

He could a lambast housing discrimination suits, over-dependence on “social safety net” programs, getting government out of competition with private enterprise, and denouncing anything that supposedly deadens individual initiative. He could talk about kicking undocumented workers out of public housing, while scrapping investigations into civil rights abuses in public housing.

This is more than political theater of the absurd. It gets even more attention for Trump. But more importantly, Carson’s laughable forays into ignorant gaffes such as the mix-up of OREO with REO touches a deep, dark, and throbbing pulse among legions of Trump backers who frankly revel in his digs, cracks and insults and name calling of Democrats. The revelry in Trump’s personal mudslinging is on dramatic evidence at every Trump rally when he takes a personal shot at some Democrat whipping person or another.

This calculated know nothingness in 2016 did much to put Trump in the White House. Trump banks on the same dirt slapping, name calling to do the same in 2020. So, just think, given that, how would it look for Carson to go before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services and sound erudite, polished, and knowledgeable on the fine details of housing policy. That, of course, would include being thoroughly versed on what an REO is.

This might draw some praise and grudging respect from some Democrats. But it wouldn’t mean a thing to Trump’s base since many of them already think that HUD is just another bloated, wasteful government agency that needs to be privatized or simply scrapped. Carson recognized that his know nothing confusion on what an REO is had some political shelf value. He quickly posed with a knowing grin on his face holding a box of OREO cookies. He topped by taking a crack at the Committee member who posed the embarrassing question to him. The message seemed to be so what if I don’t know the difference between cookies from a piece of property foreclosed on by a bank.

Trump understands the fundamental political axiom that self-interest rules politics as well, if not better, then the Democrats. Party leaders have long known that many blue-collar white voters, especially male voters, can be easily aroused to vote and shout on the emotional wedge issues: abortion, family values, anti-gay marriage and tax cuts.

Carson again fits neatly into this script. He’s an African American with name identification who once had some admiration among blacks. But that’s past. He’s now simply a serviceable tool that Trump can use to play a version of the race card. That is to depict him, a Black man, as a victim of allegedly closet racist Democrats who seethe at the notion of a Black man who dares have the express views that don’t parrot the Democratic Party’s positions. Any attack on Carson plays to that, and that includes the lampoon and ridicule of him by Democrats for his OREO-REO mix-up.

So, OREO or REO, it’s all the same. Carson is just being Carson. And for Trump and his fervent backers that’s all the counts. He’s still Trump’s guy.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of Why Black Lives Do Matter (Middle Passage Press) He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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