Trump Gonna Protect Your Suburban Lifestyle Dream From Scary Scarers Like 'Cory Booker'
Donald Trump hopped on the Twitter machine yesterday with some important news: He's bringing redlining back, to protect the suburbs from people who live in low income housing, if you know what he means. No worries, everyone knows exactly what Trump means.
...Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1596039596.0
Surely that will stop his slide with suburban voters who say he's doing a terrible job with the pandemic and in addressing systemic racism. All he needs to do is make the racism less subtle and they'll flock to him again.
CNBC explains the latest regulatory fuckery behind Trump's promise to protect suburban "property values," nudge-nudge, wink-wink:
Trump's tweet refers to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, an Obama administration update to the 1968 civil rights legislation, the Fair Housing Act. The rule required local governments receiving federal funds for housing and development to account for biased practices and craft a plan to fix them.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that it was replacing the fair housing rule with its own rule, one it dubbed "Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice."
Ah, "neighborhood choice" — and if people choose to reinforce segregation, that's certainly not the government's business, because racism is over anyway. A group of House Democrats, led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has pledged to fight the new rules, so there's one more rightwing bugbear Trump will undoubtedly invoke.
If Trump had wanted to frame the rule changes in a less overtly racist way, he could have crowed that after all this time there are still one or two regulations from the Obama administration left to undo. But why on earth would he ever want to frame anything in a less racist way? Last week, Trump tweeted a link to an op-ed by Betsy McCaughey, the rightwing nut who made up "death panels," in an attempt to scare "suburban housewives" with the thought that Black people might move into their neighborhoods.
The Suburban Housewives of America must read this article. Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American D… https://t.co/ufn2RFsvJU— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1595530000.0
Not exactly subtle, unless your only point of comparison is something like this:
Library of Congress photo
Trump Drops Subtlety In Racist Pitch To Protect 'Suburbs' | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC youtu.be
They want to end school choice, they want to abolish charter schools, it's ridiculous, they want to abolish, and really hurt the suburbs, because under their plan, they will, under a plan that's very much agreed to by them, they want to make it worse, they don't mind if low-income housing is built in a neighborhood, in a beautiful suburb of Iowa, but a beautiful suburb anywhere in the country, they want low, and this has been going on for years, Obama made it much worse, and now they want Cory Booker to run that program, Cory Booker of New Jersey to run that program, and make it many times worse than it is right now. People have gone to the suburbs, they want the beautiful homes, they don't have to have a low income housing development built in their community, which is going to reduce, which has reduced the prices of their homes, and also increased crime substantially.
IOWA, get it? Gosh, can't think of a single reason Trump would have chosen United States Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey as the face of this frightening war on the suburbs.
On Wednesday's "Rachel Maddow Show," Booker told guest host Ali Velshi, in a segment that followed the video above, that Trump's remarks were especially vile given that Booker's own parents had been repeatedly blocked from buying homes in white neighborhoods, at least until they got help from a volunteer lawyer and insisted on their rights under the Fair Housing Act. Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden shared a similar story on Twitter, noting that federal fair housing laws helped her mom raise her in a middle-class suburb. Both Booker and Tanden credited that start in life with helping them get where they are today.
This isn't just a matter of campaigning, of course; housing discrimination is one of the chief drivers of the racial wealth gap, and it was driven by deliberate federal and state policy (with plenty of help from the real estate industry) for most of the 20th century. Mostly white suburbs didn't just happen, they were planned.
And those policies still have effects today, as CNBC explains:
[Studies] have shown for decades that concentrating low-income families into small geographic areas — one consequence of the urban housing projects built in the 1960s and 1970s — only serves to exacerbate the difficulties that poor residents face.
More recent research has also shown that one of the most successful ways to help low-income families get good educations for their children and integrate into the middle class is by actively interspersing low-income housing throughout middle- and upper-middle-class neighborhoods.
But then, that's the whole point, isn't it? Trump's entire political schtick is built on the zero-sum thinking that if someone brown is getting ahead, it's at the expense of white people, so anything that might help "low income" people is frightening and bad.
Whether it will work is another matter entirely. Trump's deadly failure to handle the coronavirus crisis and his overt racism have been turning off the very suburban voters he's been trying to appeal to, especially women, and dragging down the rest of the GOP as well. But here's another potentially worrisome Poll McNugget:
An ABC News/Washington Post poll found Biden ahead of Trump by nine percentage points among suburbanites. Among suburban women, Biden led Trump by a margin of 60% to 36%. By contrast, Biden narrowly edges past Trump among suburban men, 49% to 45%.
For all the talk of "suburban women" that seems aimed at winning the 1956 election, it looks like Trump is hoping his racial fear rhetoric will help him close that gap with just enough white men, in just enough states, to eke out another electoral college win. Or maybe he just really likes being a racist. In any case, here's hoping people resist his call to run with the dogwhistles in suburbia.
Pet Shop Boys - Suburbia youtu.be
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