Compares Transgender People to Someone Who 'Woke Up' Saying They Are A Different Ethnicity
Ben Carson, Donald Trump supporter and one-time presidential candidate, made a few highly offensive comments about transgender people during a speech Tuesday in front of the Florida Delegation breakfast. "For thousands of years, mankind has known what a man is and what a woman is. And now all of a sudden we don't know anymore," Carson said to the assembled crowd, as CNN reported. In fact, transgender people have existed across cultures for thousands of years.
"Is that the height of absurdity?," he asked, adding, "because today, you feel like a woman?" Transgender people, contrary to what Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, suggested, do not "wake up" one day all of a sudden feeling like they are a different gender.
Displaying a shocking lack of understanding on the subject he referred to as "this whole transgender thing", he went further, mocking transgender people while talking in a different voice.
"Wouldn't that be the same as if you woke up tomorrow morning after seeing a movie about Afghanistan or reading some books and said, 'You know what? I'm Afghanistan [sic]. I know I don't look that way. My ancestors came from Sweden, or something, I don't know. But I really am. And if you say I'm not, (then) you're racist," Carson said. "This is how absurd we have become."
HRC's Chad Griffin weighed in quickly via Twitter:
Ben Carson has a long history of inflammatory comments directed towards the transgender community. Back in January, Carson said during an interview with a Catholic news network that transgender individuals shouldn't receive "extra rights," claiming that they were "a few people who perhaps are abnormal."
He is also an outspoken advocate in favor of anti-trans bathroom bans. In a 2015 interview with Fusion's Jorge Ramos. Carson said that transgender people "make everybody else uncomfortable," and asked, "How about we have a transgender bathroom?
Carson is set to address the Republican National Convention Tuesday night.
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