Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson defended President Trump against accusations of racism at the Republican National Convention on Thursday.
Why it matters: Carson, the only Black member of Trump's Cabinet, has become a loyal ally and defender of the president since running against him in the 2016 Republican primary.
The big picture: Joe Biden accused Trump in July of being the first racist to be elected to the White House — the first time the Democratic nominee had directly made the attack, per the Washington Post.
- Biden made the accusation amid a cultural and political reckoning against systematic racism, driven by Black Lives Matter protests against the killing of George Floyd and against police brutality.
- Several figures in the Trump administration have said that they do not believe systemic racism exists in the U.S., despite historic discrimination against Black Americans in the job market, the housing market and the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on racial minorities.
What he's saying: "President Trump does not dabble in identity politics. He wants everyone to succeed and believes in the adage, 'a rising tide lifts all boats.' Many on the other side love to incite division by claiming that President Trump is a racist. They could not be more wrong."
- "One of the first things he did as president was bring the Office of Historically Black Colleges and Universities into the White House so that it could get proper attention and financial support. Before the pandemic, African American unemployment was at an all-time low."
- "President Trump accomplished prison reform. He created incentives to encourage investors to become involved with economically-deprived areas of America."
- "What is racist is the fact that African Americans have the highest abortion rate. President Trump is the most pro-life President in our country's history. He will continue to fight for those who cannot yet speak."
Of note: Carson began his speech by acknowledging the emotional toll currently faced by the family of Jacob Blake, who was shot several times in the back by police officers while walking to his car, per the Wisconsin Department of Justice.