Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson was roundly criticized by celebrities like Samuel Jackson after he referred to the slaves from Africa as immigrants with dreams and hopes for their children’s futures.
But President Barack Obama used similar language to include African-Americans descended from slaves among the immigrants who helped shape America.
Here is Obama in 2015:
Certainly, it wasn’t easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves. There was discrimination and hardship and poverty. But, like you, they no doubt found inspiration in all those who had come before them. And they were able to muster faith that, here in America, they might build a better life and give their children something more.
Here is Carson:
That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters, might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.