Ben Carson Believes Poverty Is Just A ‘State Of Mind’ And People Aren’t Happy About It

Ben Carson, the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has come under fire for comments he made during a radio interview on Tuesday when he called poverty a “state of mind” live on air. A statement like that would be quite low coming from anyone, but it takes on a whole new meaning when it comes from the lips of the man who oversees the department that handles housing for millions of low-income Americans.

The statement was made when Carson was being interviewed by conservative media personality and personal friend, Armstrong Williams. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, has dealt directly with poverty himself and credits his mother for getting his family out of that situation, but that didn’t stop him from implying that some people are just poor because they have a negative outlook on life.

According to a transcript of the interview with Williams that was released on Wednesday, Carson didn’t shy away from making his feelings on the subject known. “I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind,” he said. “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.”

But he didn’t stop there, adding that lending a helping hand to those in need may not even improve their lives if they don’t have the right mental attitude, thus there’s really no point in trying. “You take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world — they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom,” he continued, strong words coming from the man who is in charge of trying to keep roofs over the heads of those not exactly living in the lap of luxury.

Not every low-income earner is presented with the same opportunities as Carson’s mother, but in his opinion, that shouldn’t even factor into the equation. “If everybody had a mother like mine, nobody would be in poverty,” Carson said. “She was a person who absolutely would not accept the status of victim.”

Naturally, Twitter exploded after the release of the transcript on Wednesday, as Twitter tends to do, with everyone from former Barack Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to beloved Star Trek actor and human rights activist George Takei weighing in on Carson’s comments.

Featured image via Larry French/Getty Images