Former neurosurgeon and new Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson is facing harsh criticism after he made comments Wednesday evening about the type of mentality that contributes to poverty.
According to CNN, Carson said during the SiriusXM Radio interview that, "I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind."
He continued, "You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they'll be right back up there. And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you could give them everything in the world, they'll work their way right back down to the bottom."
But he added that parents can play a big role in giving their kids the right mindset.
"A lot of it has to do with what we teach children. You have to instill into that child the mindset of a winner," he explained.
He also equated the “wrong mindset” with a “poverty of spirit.”
Carson himself came from a rough family life and impoverished background but through the encouragement of his mother, succeeded academically and eventually became a world-renowned surgeon.
But now he’s facing a firestorm for his comments, according to the BBC.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) blamed the system primarily for poverty, writing on Twitter, “Dear @SecretaryCarson, States of mind: Happy, Sad, New York. NOT a state of mind: Systemic poverty.”
“Star Trek” actor and social media star George Takei commented, “Ben Carson says that poverty is a ‘state of mind.’ You know what else is a state of mind? Always being a blithering idiot.”
SiriusXM’s own Director of Progressive Programming Zerlina Maxwell even weighed in, writing, “Ben Carson said poverty is the a state of mind. Next month, I’m going to tell my landlord that I paid my rent with positive thinking!”
Dictionary.com piped up, too, commenting, “Huh. We say poverty is the condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support.”
Many people think the critics missed the point. What do you think about this? Comment, react to, or share this on Facebook.