Illustration for article titled Can Someone Get Ben Carson to Explain to Trump that Chinatown and China Aren’t The Same Thing?
Photo: MANDEL NGAN (Getty Images)

I know it doesn’t look like Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, is a really smart man, but I assure you that before falling into the sunken place, he was one the world’s most beloved neurosurgeons. He may have been the world’s only neurosurgeon. Seriously name another neurosurgeon without Googling.

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So I know it seems like a tall task, but when it comes to trying to explain concepts like why jumbo shrimp aren’t really that big despite having jumbo in the name to the president, I look for the first man to separate conjoined twins to do the heavy lifting.

So it’s Carson’s work with brains that has me naively thinking that he could help the president understand the difference between Chinatown and China.

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On Thursday, President Trump, the Jack Tripper of Clark Griswolds, shared a video from February in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “whose district includes San Francisco’s Chinatown, advocates for people to visit the neighborhood three weeks before the state issued stay-at-home orders because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“To everyone, you should come to Chinatown. Precautions have been taken by our city. We know there’s been a concern about tourism traveling all throughout the world, but we think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come,” Pelosi says in the video which was urging folks not to discriminate against Asian-owned businesses, NBC News reports.

The president somehow turned this video into Pelosi encouraging people to”pack” the California neighborhood after he restricted flights from China.

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi deleted this from her Twitter account. She wanted everyone to pack into Chinatown long after I closed the BORDER TO CHINA,” he wrote. “Based on her statement, she is responsible for many deaths. She’s an incompetent, third-rate politician!”

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For the record, Trump didn’t actually bar folks from China, which is something he boasts about frequently during his press “rally” conferences, “rather, it restricted the entry of foreign nationals who traveled to the country within the previous 14 days. The administration made exceptions for immediate family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents,” NBC News reports.

Also, Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill told NBC News, that the speaker didn’t post and delete the tweet.

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The president’s inability to differentiate between Chinatown in San Francisco and China, looked to many people like the president was doing his usual hate speech and many called him on it.

From NBC News:

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., and Chris Lu, who was Cabinet secretary in the administration of President Barack Obama. They pointed out that Asian Americans are experiencing a significant rise in hate attacks tied to COVID-19 and accused him of pushing the idea that Asian Americans are perpetual foreigners.

Trump’s tweet echoes comments he made about the speaker during a news conference about the pandemic on Wednesday, when he accused Pelosi of “trying to have San Francisco parties in Chinatown.”

Taylor Griffin, a spokesperson for Pelosi, said in a statement to NBC News that Pelosi stands by her condemnation of anti-Asian racism.

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Trump knows exactly what he’s doing and if he doesn’t then we are totally fucked. And if our only hope is the grandfather of mumble rap aka the doctor of housing then we are really screwed.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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