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U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters was rather unkind in her remarks about federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson during a speech in New Orleans last Saturday.

Waters claimed that Carson “doesn’t care about people in public housing.”

Carson “knows nothing about the mission of HUD,” the California Democrat said in a speech at the Essence Festival in The Big Easy. “He doesn’t care about people in public housing. He believes that if you are poor, it is your own fault. And he doesn’t know the difference between an immigrant and a slave.”

Waters was reflecting on Carson’s remarks to an assembly of HUD employees in March, during which he referred to slaves brought to America as “immigrants.” 

“That’s what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity,” Carson  said. “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less.”

Technically speaking, Carson is correct — the pre-Revolution era slaves were involuntary immigrants. Even President Obama made similar comments when he was in office.

Carson also said in May that “poverty is a state of mind.”

“You take somebody that has the right mindset, you take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while, they’ll be right back up there,” he said in a SiriusXM radio interview. “And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, (and) they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.”

Waters is a career politician who comes from humble roots and today represents south-central Los Angeles. She warned Carson that she would be tough on him when he testifies before the House Committee on Financial Services. She is the ranking member of that committee, by virtue of her seniority, not her IQ. Waters’ first two-year term in the House began in 1991. She quickly became a firebrand for the Democratic Caucus.

The soft-spoken Carson is an internationally respected neurosurgeon, is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and he has been awarded more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees. He is both well-informed and articulate.

But, Waters declared, if Carson “thinks that I am going to give him a pass, I am going to take his ass apart.”

Wonder if she would ever say that to Carson’s face? Perhaps the nation would be better off if Maxine just took her own ass home and stayed there.