The simple answer to the question posed is yes. Trump wants to remove a federal law that makes desegregation a national priority as well as promotes fair housing. He’s doing this because this bill has a “devastating impact” on the suburbs. I believe this notion is outrageous. The enforcement of desegregation and fair housing in no way can have a detrimental impact on the suburbs unless you have the opinion that African-American people should not be there.
AFFH or the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule requires that officials create a plan to develop a thriving community for everyone. In return, a grant is given to these communities.
I believe this concept of rule is a brilliant step in the right direction. Giving money to communities that are working against segregation is a great way to promote desegregation, and how giving money to communities working to stop segregation can have a “devastating impact” is beyond me. I believe this to be another attack on the accomplishments of Barrack Obama. The white house has attempted to get this reversed since 2018, claiming that it is too burdensome. I believe this is a trojan horse, what they meant to say is that desegregation is the issue that has a detrimental effect on suburbs.
Ben Carson, the secretary of the department of housing and urban development said “Mayors know their communities best, so we are empowering them to make housing decisions that meet their unique needs, not a mandate from the federal government.” This statement holds some truth. Although it is true that mayors should know their cities the best and then be able to make decisions based on their knowledge, the issue addressed in the AFFH rule has to do with race. Carson is claiming here that mayors should be able to segregate their cities if that’s what they think is best for it, and he said the federal government should have no say in that.
Another interesting thing to note is that the tweet announcing he was going to review this rule came just a day after Mark and Patricia McCloskey brought out their guns and pointed them at peaceful protestors standing on their street. I believe there is some correlation here, and I believe this means Trump believes the McCloskey couple to be in the right. To me, this is a gross attack on Black Americans in an attempt to appeal to more voters. The President is making more drastic attacks as his election nears, seeing Bidens appeal to many voters especially those suburban voters who were key to his victory in 2016.
Shaun Donovan, who was the secretary of the department of housing and urban development when the AFFH rule was passed made a statement on Trump’s tweet. “Trump’s tweet is racist and wrong,” “He would turn back the clock to the days when the federal government perpetuated the lie that Black families’ moving to suburban neighborhoods brings down property values.” Mr. Donovan is absolutely right. Trump made a drastic move in order to appeal to the suburban voter he saw he was losing to Biden and the underlying racism that has lined Trumps presidency has shined through once again.
Trump has once again removed the subtlety that is in their underlying motive. Claiming the AFFH is too burdensome expresses how they value the African-American community. Ensuring that there is equal housing for all is not worth the extra work that he claims there is. Furthermore, the President essentially admitted in his tweet that there was an ulterior motive. the AFFH is not devastating because it negatively affects suburban communities, but because it pressures them to ensure African-Americans have equal housing opportunities. It is “too burdensome” because it does not allow affluent white neighborhoods to keep African-Americans out. To do this at the time of the biggest racial justice unrest of this century shows real desperation on behalf of the Trump administration.
Written by Joseph Nelson
CityLab: Trump Targets Efforts to Desegregate U.S. Suburbs
New York Times: Trump Attacks a Suburban Housing Program. Critics See a Play for White Votes.
Business Insider: Trump threatens to overturn a fair housing regulation designed to help ‘overcome historic patterns of segregation’ saying it has a ‘devastating impact’ on the suburbs
Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License