President Donald Trump turned his Twitter account into a racist bullhorn on Wednesday, nonchalantly posting that “people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream” would no longer have to bother or deal with low income housing in their 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 I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule.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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2020
The tweet follows an announcement from the White House last Wednesday that it will repeal and replace an Obama-era rule intended to combat historic racial discrimination in housing.
The move has been widely seen as a campaign tactic for Trump, who is hoping to bolster diminishing support among white suburban voters amid failures to curb the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed roughly 150,000 people in the United States — by stoking racial division.
Trump has leaned heavily on a bid for suburban voters and falsely claimed in a July 16 speech that former Democratic nominee Joe Biden wants to “abolish the suburbs,” and that a vote for Biden would ensure a spike in crime rates in suburban neighborhoods.
The White House said last week that the rule would be rolled back as part of a broader deregulation push, creating a much lower bar that would allow local governments more freedom to self-certify that they are “furthering fair housing.”
The announcement last week came weeks after the President tweeted in June that he would be rolling back the regulation, known as the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule, at the request of “many great Americans who live in the Suburbs.” The President said in a tweet at that time that the rule has had a “devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas.”
The June 30 tweet followed a video that Trump posted to Twitter a day before showing the gun-touting Missouri couple that appear in a viral video pointing an assault rifle and pistol toward a group of anti-racism protesters walking past their St. Louis home. The couple has come to symbolize a conservative narrative of a kind of victimization of unwitting white homeowners who stand their ground amid a flood of threatening and angry supporters of Black lives.
Without evidence, Trump has also leveraged his repeal of the housing rule as part of a wider effort to smear Biden. In tweets and speeches, Trump has repeatedly said that the former Vice President would make housing rules “MUCH WORSE” by enacting policies that are “not fair to homeowners.”
Biden has denied that charge. The former Vice President’s campaign has called Trump’s attempts at painting Biden as a danger and an enemy to the suburbs a campaign to smear the Democratic nominee.