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In his first official speech as Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Ben Carson made a few controversial remarks while addressing HUD employees in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

What sort of controversial remarks?

The sort that make you wonder how Carson has lasted this long as a human being…

… let alone how he was confirmed as a member of a Presidential administration.

Photo via Getty

"That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity," Carson said as part of his rambling speech, adding:

"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."

You may want to read that second sentence again. And maybe again after that.

Because Ben Carson really did refer to slaves – the same slaves who were violently snatched from their homes, chained up, tossed into a ship and then forced to do a white person’s bidding – as "immigrants" who wanted to come to America and who simply worked hard for a low wage.

Shortly after the video below went viral, celebrities jumped on Twitter in shock and the opposite of awe.

“Ben Carson..please read or watch Roots, most immigrants come here VOLUNTARILY, cant’t really say the same about the slaves..they were stolen,” Whoopi Goldberg wrote in response, while Samuel L. Jackson added:

“OK!! Ben Carson….I can’t! Immigrants ? In the bottom of SLAVE SHIPS??!! MUTHAFUKKA PLEASE!!! #dickheadedtom."

We know it’s difficult to believe that anyone would utter these words.

But it really happened!

See for yourself in the following footage: