Housing Secretary Ben Carson Was Asked About ‘REOs’. He Noted That He Doesn’t Really Mess With Oreos Like That

Photo: Michael Reynolds (Getty Images)

Me and my friends have this game where we argue about which famous people should’ve died but who lived long enough just to fuck up their legacy. It’s a brutal game in which we basically argue that big-boned Luther Vandross should’ve died right around the time that a chair was still a chair—not because he ruined his legacy but because he didn’t add much to it after that.

Michael Jackson should’ve departed right after Thriller was released as everything else from Michael afterward was laced with scandal. I hate to say this but renowned neurosurgeon Ben Carson should’ve died shortly after he separated those conjoined twins or after the book, Gifted Hands, or maybe after he got the painting of himself with black Jesus. Because Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is fucking up Dr. Ben Carson’s legacy.


Since taking office, Carson’s pushed to evict undocumented immigrants from public housing, he spent $31,000 of taxpayer money on a china cabinet for his office, and now this nigga confused a real estate term with a delicious, racially harmonious cookie made by the gods.


During a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday morning, Carson was asked by Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), about disparities in REO rates. According to USA Today, “an REO, or ‘real estate owned,’ refers to a kind of property owned by a lender, like a bank, after a foreclosure.”

Porter: “I would also like to ask you to get back to me, if you don’t mind, to explain the disparity in REO rates. Do you know what an REO is?” asked the congresswoman.

Carson: “An Oreo…”

“R, no not an Oreo. An R-E-O.” shot back Porter.

“Real estate?” asked Carson.

“What’s the O stand for?” said Porter.

“E-organization?” asked Carson.

Holy fuck. Watch the moment below but I must warn you that the footage could be triggering if you have a drunk uncle who answers questions with confidence when he’s really drunk (or high) and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.


Also, the moment could be triggering in that Porter is doing the condescending talk thing that irks my soul, and optically, Carson—no matter how many times he’s appeared in paintings with Jesus—is still a black man. And well, slavery and stuff make this visually cringey AF.


Let the first person amongst us that hasn’t heard “Oreo” when someone was saying something else, raise their hand. One time my homeboy asked me if I was trying to go to the mall and I heard, “Bitch, what we bout to do with these Oreos?”

And it makes sense. For years, other than wherever Silver Spoons was supposed to have taken place, Oreos have shown that blacks and whites could get along. Oreos are who America strives to be. Oreos are what happens with black people come together and slowly flatten white supremacy. Oreos were too powerful. Oreos were about to buy Nabisco.


I don’t blame Ben Carson. I blame America ... Nah, I blame Ben Carson as he doesn’t know what the fuck is going on. In fact at one point during the hearing he tried to steal Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-Calif.) shine and “reclaim his time” while being questioned by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) only to be informed that he didn’t have time to reclaim.


After being chastised about “real estate owned” properties, Carson left the hearing where he was stopped by a reporter who asked, “Do you know the disparity in rates among REOs?” To which Carson replied, “Yeah, but I don’t really fuck with speed wagons.”

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

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