The Detroit Board of Education opened a new high school in 2011 named for city native Ben Carson but now may take his name off the building due to his ties to the Trump administration.
When Dr. Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine was opened and then dedicated seven years ago – with Carson in attendance – he was the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
But Carson then ran for president and then became President Trump’s secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development. That irked some school board members, according to The Washington Post. Carson graduated from Detroit’s Southwest High School in 1969.
“It is synonymous with having Trump’s name on our school in blackface,” school board member Lamar Lemmons told The Post.
Carson “is doing Trump’s bidding, and he has adversely affected the African American community in Detroit as well as the nation with his housing policies,” Lemmons said.
"And he’s allied himself with a president that says he is a white nationalist and sends dog whistles that even the deaf can hear,” Lemmons added.
There is widespread support, Lemmons said, for changing the name. He said he regularly gets letters from citizens about the issue.
“What really bothers me is he is a person that grew up in poverty and took advantage of all the social service safety nets that allowed him to have some semblance of normality and get an education,” Lemmons told The Post. “And he’s one that’s now removing that ladder, that rung in the ladder for others to excel as he did. He is a person who advocates pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, but now he is removing the boots and the strap.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Mark Wilson/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.