In a glaringly racist appeal to white voters, President Donald Trump has been painting Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as a ruthless leader in the Democratic Party’s war on the white picket-fenced utopia of American suburbs.
And Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the wealthy couple from St. Louis who have been slapped with criminal charges for brandishing their guns at mostly Black nonviolent protesters in their neighborhood in June, were more than happy to boost Trump’s fear-mongering in their speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC) on Monday night.
The McCloskeys, whom St. Louis circuit attorney Kim Gardner has charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon, portrayed themselves as brave defenders against an “out-of-control mob” near their home, despite the fact that multiple videos of the incident show the protesters marching peacefully past the property.
“What you saw happened to us could happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods across the country,” Patricia McCloskey told RNC viewers somberly.
Mark McCloskey accused Democrats of “protecting criminals from honest citizens.”
“These radicals are not content with marching in the streets. They want to walk the Halls of Congress. They want to take over,” he said.
“They’re not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities,” Patricia McCloskey declared. “They want to abolish the suburbs altogether by ending single-family home zoning.”
She asserted that “forced rezoning” would “bring crime, lawlessness and low-quality apartments into now-thriving suburban neighborhoods.”
“These are the policies that are coming to a neighborhood near you,” Patricia McCloskey warned. “So make no mistake, no matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America.”
Julian Castro, former presidential candidate and secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Obama administration, slammed the McCloskeys’ speech as “a shameful, deceitful and calculated ploy to drum up racial resentment and white fear” in an interview with the New York Times.
Castro also corrected Patricia McCloskey’s false claim about Biden’s housing proposals, pointing out that the federal government does not have power over local communities’ zoning policies.
Other observers noticed the same blatantly racist overtones in the McCloskey’s remarks:
The McCloskeys' pitch, in short: the Blacks are coming to your quiet suburb. #RepublicanNationalConvention
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) August 25, 2020
The McCloskeys just made one of the most racist appeals to fearful white voters that I've seen since Pat Buchanan's infamous 1992 culture war speech.
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 25, 2020
Holy shit the St Louis Gun Couple is the best ad for don’t be this white person I’ve ever seen.
— feminist next door (@emrazz) August 25, 2020
But the couple’s doomsday speech highlighted Trump’s racist pitch in a reelection campaign largely driven by culture war grievances.
From warning “Suburban Housewives of America” that Biden “will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream” to claiming that the Democrat’s housing policies mean “your home will go down in value and crime rates will rapidly rise,” Trump has made dogwhistling to fearful white suburbanites a cornerstone of his reelection strategy.
“Joe Biden and his bosses from the radical left want to significantly multiply what they’re doing now,” The President said last month. “And what will be the end result is you will totally destroy the beautiful suburbs. Suburbia will be no longer as we know it.”
In June, Trump threatened to eliminate HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing program, which he claimed was “having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas.”
“Corrupt Joe Biden wants to make them MUCH WORSE,” Trump tweeted. “Not fair to homeowners, I may END!”