Ben Carson's Former Staffer Speaks on the Importance of Maintaining the Ability to Critique

Ben Carson's Former Staffer Speaks on the Importance of Maintaining the Ability to Critique

Shermichael Singleton was fired for writing unflattering words about Donald Trump.

Published February 21, 2017

After being told that he would no longer be working for HUD secretary nominee Dr. Ben Carson because of an article he wrote about then-candidate Donald Trump, Shermichael Singleton was left to figure out where he fits in the Republican Party. Although he maintains a positive outlook on his next steps, one can’t help but wonder how Singleton felt when he was told he was fired.

Singleton formerly worked for Dr. Carson as his communications director and was prepared to join Carson in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, for the Trump administration, an article published by Singleton last year was a deal breaker. 

In the article, Singleton suggested that members of the GOP have a “moral obligation” to stand up to then candidate Donald Trump.

“We allowed that hostile takeover to happen on our watch,” Singleton wrote in his piece for The Hill. “This individual recognized a moment of great disparity in the Republican base and, like cancer, attacked and spread, consuming everything in his path.”

Yes, Singleton lost a job for speaking out against someone who had not yet become president; however, is it not our duty as American citizens to speak out when the most powerful person in the free world acts or speaks in a way that goes against this country?

Singleton sat down with BET News to reflect on what this experience has taught him and what we can all learn from his brief time working for a Trump administration. Overall, Singleton understood that he was working at the pleasure of the president, yet he does believe that opposition is an American idea.

“I believe in one’s openness to critique. If you are able to imagine where that critique comes from and imagine what that individual has gone through that led to said critique, then you grow.”

Now the question is, have the critiques of Singleton and other Republicans led president Trump to grow? One would not assume that to be true based on his firing of someone who openly disagreed with his tactics as a candidate.

When asked if he was devastated after being fired, Singleton said that he was shocked at first.

“I was disappointed, there was a brief moment of anger,” Singleton told BET. “But anger is like a cancer. In politics, you can’t be angry all the time.”

Singleton has experience working for other Republican presidential candidates and his youth and work ethic will serve him well. There is nothing from this experience that he regrets, and his experience should show both Democrats and Republicans that having an opinion is a right and a privilege.  

“Now that [Donald Trump] is president, it is important to respect the office of the presidency,” Singleton added. “But I do think it is important to have a voice that at times may dissent.”

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: BET)


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