https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/15/opin...pinion-bailey/?iid=ob_lockedrail_topeditorial (CNN)Ben Carson is the perfect representation of the Trump administration. So far, his time as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been defined by a combination of incompetence and indifference to the realities faced by the poor and working class. HUD is charged with trying to ensure equal access to housing in a country that for generations implemented policies allowing for racial discrimination. Yet, under Carson, HUD is walking away from the agency's mission to fight discrimination and is instead prioritizing the more nebulous "self-sufficiency" standard. The most recent example of his failed stewardship? His decision to make 32-year-old Andrew Hughes his chief of staff. Hughes' most notable accomplishments seem to be having done months of work on the Ben Carson and Donald Trump presidential campaigns and being an Uber driver. It's a fitting decision given that the poor and elderly who need to rely upon HUD may soon be forced to find housing in their cars. In past administrations -- Democratic and Republican -- the chief of staff was someone who had the requisite skills and experience to understand housing policy and how the levers of government worked. Hughes isn't that person. And, worse yet, he isn't the first person in Carson's department to be granted an important position for which he seems poorly qualified. Lynne Patton's resume was notoriously thin when she was appointed to head New York's federal housing office; she was previously a party planner for Trump. Then again, previous administrations seemed to have had a different agenda than this one. The Obama administration, for example, was committed to reversing the legacy of racial and income segregation. Carson's priority, on the other hand, has seemingly been rolling back civil rights and other hard-won protections implemented during the previous administration -- instead of making the lives of the already-struggling more bearable. Carson has suspended the rules requiring local governments to address patterns of racial segregation. He is also reconsidering a 2013 rule about when disparate impact claims -- a legal tool to challenge actions that have a discriminatory effect even if overt bias isn't apparent -- can be used against those involved in housing decisions. Carson tried, but was prevented by the courts, to make it harder for recipients of housing vouchers to use them in wealthy neighborhoods, even though the program was designed to give poor and marginalized families a chance at better schools. He also put on hold fair-housing investigations into a local ordinance in Hesperia, California, that makes it more difficult to fight housing discrimination against parolees and those with criminal records. Carson and HUD officials downplay the changes -- claiming this is just a typical shift made from one administration to the next. But these changes are far more drastic than that. Most of the decisions flow in one direction, giving benefit of doubt to those in power -- local and state government officials and large corporations -- and taking away protections from the powerless. It's an odd move by a man who says he just wants the best for poor people and is attempting to "give poor people a way out of poverty." Had Carson understood housing policy better when he agreed to this job, he'd know that one of the causes of the 2008 Great Recession was large banks targeting black and brown borrowers for risky loans, even when they qualified for more stable ones. He'd know that half a century after the murder of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. -- and also of the Fair Housing Act, which was designed to eliminate discrimination in housing -- racial divides are just as stark as they were in the 1960s, and in some cases worse. He'd know that many problems the poor and marginalized face stem from discriminatory housing policies that effectively keep in place segregation -- affecting everything from school performance to how likely a young person is to end up in prison. He'd know that former prisoners who aren't able to secure stable housing in stable neighborhoods and good jobs are more likely to reoffend. Or maybe he knows and just doesn't care. Before Carson was appointed HUD secretary, he reportedly was thinking about turning down any potential offers to serve in Trump's Cabinet. Follow CNN Opinion Join us on Twitter and Facebook "Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he's never run a federal agency," Carson adviser Armstrong Williams told the Hill newspaper after Trump was elected. "The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency." But Carson hasn't crippled Trump's presidency. He's simply doing on a national scale what the Trump family was accused of doing in the 1970s when it was sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination. They settled with DOJ by signing a consent decree, with the Trump business promising not to discriminate in the future -- though not admitting guilt of previous wrongdoing. Carson has long had a prominent place in American history books because of his pioneering work as a neurosurgeon. His story was inspirational because he reached such great professional heights after overcoming discrimination and poverty as a child. But his story must now be rewritten, since he is now playing a prominent role in stacking the deck against the next "Dr. Carson."