On Wednesday, The New York Times published a piece seemingly insinuating that white suburbanites harbor racism against non-whites, and President Trump is playing on their fears to win votes in November.
In the piece, titled, “Trump Plays on Racist Fears of Terrorized Suburbs to Court White Voters,” the authors claim that Trump, in addressing the issue of low-income housing being placed in suburban neighborhoods, was “trying to stir up racist fears about affordable housing and the people who live there.”
Trump had commented on the rescinding of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Act, tweeting, “I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood. Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!”
…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 I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule.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 (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2020
“The tweet, sent from aboard Air Force One as Mr. Trump traveled to Texas, was the latest example of the president stoking racial division as he seeks to win over voters in his bid for re-election,” the Times carped. “White suburban voters, particularly women, were key to his victory in 2016 but are slipping away from him.”
“ … his tweet on Wednesday was further evidence that he inevitably reverts to his instinct to play to his base when campaigning under pressure,” the Times opined.
The Times took issue with Trump stating in West Texas, “People fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home. There will be no more low-income housing forced into the suburbs. It’s been hell for suburbia.”
The Times invoked George Floyd, writing of Trump, “He has demonized protesters in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in the custody of white police officers,” then targeted Vice President Mike Pence because he “refused to say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ insisting in an interview that ‘all life matters, born and unborn.’”
Earlier this month, Trump pointed out that Democrats want to change zoning regulations, asserting, “The Democrats in D.C. have been and want to, at a much higher level, abolish our beautiful and successful suburbs by placing far-left Washington bureaucrats in charge of local zoning decisions. They are absolutely determined to eliminate single-family zoning, destroy the value of houses and communities already built, just as they have in Minneapolis and other locations that you read about today. Your home will go down in value and crime rates will rapidly rise.”
In 2015, the Obama administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a final rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.
Stanley Kurtz took note of the Obama administration’s targeting of suburbs in a piece for National Review in 2015:
AFFH is easily one of President Obama’s most radical initiatives, on a par with Obamacare in its transformative potential. In effect, AFFH gives the federal government a lever to re-engineer nearly every American neighborhood — imposing a preferred racial and ethnic composition, densifying housing, transportation, and business development in suburb and city alike, and weakening or casting aside the authority of local governments over core responsibilities, from zoning to transportation to education. …
[T]he real story of AFFH is the attempt to force integration by class, to densify development in American suburbs and cities, and to undo America’s system of local government and replace it with a ‘regional’ alternative that turns suburbs into helpless satellites of large cities. Once HUD gets its hooks into a municipality, no policy area is safe. Zoning, transportation, education, all of it risks slipping into the control of the federal government and the new, unelected regional bodies the feds will empower. Over time, AFFH could spell the end of the local democracy that Alexis de Tocqueville rightly saw as the foundation of America’s liberty and distinctiveness.