Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson lambasted political correctness during a congressional hearing Tuesday instead of apologizing for controversial comments he made last month calling transgender women “big, hairy men.”
According to the Washington Post, Carson made the transphobic remark while railing against transgender women for trying to access women’s shelters during a visit to HUD’s San Francisco office. Carson reportedly complained to HUD staff that “society no longer seemed to know the difference between men and women.”
Several HUD employees told the newspaper at the time that they felt the secretary’s remarks were transphobic. One woman reportedly left the meeting with Carson in protest of his remarks.
Asked by Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) on whether he felt the need to apologize for his remarks, Carson declined.
“No,” he said.
“I think this whole concept of political correctness — you can say this, you can’t say that, you can’t repeat what someone said — is total foolishness, and it’s going to destroy our nation, and we need to be more mature than that,” he added.
“Carson explained he was simply relaying the concerns of a women’s group from Alaska, whose name he could not recall, during an internal HUD meeting,” the Post reports. “He clarified he was not referring to transgender women as ‘big, hairy men.’ ”
“I didn’t describe transgender women that way,” Carson said. “I was relating a story that a women’s group told me about big, hairy men — who are not transgender women by the way — coming into their facility and having to be accepted because of the rules that were in place.”
Today I gave @SecretaryCarson the opportunity to apologize for his remarks slurring transgender women as, “big, hairy men.”
Regrettably, he declined that opportunity.
Hateful words translate into discriminatory policy—and Secretary Carson has demonstrated that time and again. pic.twitter.com/W1p7QGfGl2
— Rep. Jennifer Wexton (@RepWexton) October 22, 2019