Detroit school board wants to drop Ben Carson's name from high school


  • Christopher Halloran /
  • Ben Carson.

In just 24 hours, Michigan native and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Ben Carson, has been dragged for a national increase in failed HUD inspections since his appointment in 2017. And, to add salt to his self-inflicted wounds, Detroit's Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine will likely be renamed.

The Detroit Board of Education met Tuesday to vote upon the renaming of several buildings, as well as some new schools within the district, including Benjamin Carson High School which was named before the 1969 district graduate was appointed to President Donald Trump's cabinet. Lamar Lemmons, a Detroit school board member and vocal advocate for removing the 2016 Republican presidential candidate, neurosurgeon, and luxury furniture enthusiast's name from the school, told The Washington Post that Carson's name is comparable to "having Trump's name on our school in blackface."

According to a policy approved earlier this year, the board is permitted to change existing school names to reflect “individuals who have made a significant contribution to the enhancement of education." Though Carson's contributions to medicine pre-Trump were significant and validate him as a suitable honoree for naming (he was the first to perform an in utero procedure on a fetus and lead a team of surgeons in separating conjoined twins), he also curiously admitted in a New York Times profile earlier this year that running HUD is more complex than brain surgery. A strange statement, however, his recent track record confirms this.

Though the board voted 6-1 in favor of the name change, other factors — such as a series of meetings with the impacted communities surounding each site to survey input — will determine whether or not they will be able to move forward. These efforts, according to Lemmons, will likely not see any progress until the next academic school year.

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