Former presidential candidate Ben Carson explained his childhood living situation following a story claiming he lived in public housing when he was young.
On Monday, The New York Times corrected two stories that quoted Carson's close friend, Armstrong Williams, who said the retired doctor lived in public housing for part of his childhood.
Carson, who was revealed on Monday to be President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, addressed the confusion during a speech at Yale University Thursday night.
"Despite what you may have heard from people, she wanted to make sure that we didn't live in public housing, because there was a lot danger there, and she wanted to shield us from that danger," he said, according to Politico.
Carson, along with his mother and brother, moved from Detroit to Boston as a child after his parents' divorce.
"There was pretty horrendous violence . . . gangs, broken glass, and boarded up windows and doors, murders — I had two cousins who were killed," he continued. "I remember as a 9-year-old kid, sitting on the ghetto stairs, looking to the building across the street, out of which all the windows had been broken. And there was a sunbeam shining through, and it made me think about my future. And I remember thinking I probably won't make it to 25."
Carson's mother worked "two and three jobs" in Boston, according to her son, who explained that she refused to rely on welfare programs.
"She was a little different than a lot of people around, who were always saying, 'you've got two boys, you don't really need to work.' ... She just didn't like the idea of being dependent."
"A lot of people have said, 'Well, Carson's a hypocrite, because he grew up very poor, must have depended on some government programs, and now he wants to remove all of the safety net and government programs' — which is a bunch of crap, by the way. People come up with this stuff because it fits their narrative. There is no way in the world I would ever want to do that.
"But what I do want to do is create ladders of opportunity, so that people don't have to be dependent," he said. "Government should not keep people in a dependent state. It should be used as a springboard, and not as a hammock."
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