Moving through an uncertain political moment, Trump continues to spread cultural divisions in a way he believes will appeal to voters concerned about security and order – despite polls showing widespread outrage at how he behaves in racial relations.
While distributing wanted posters of suspected vandals on his Twitter feed and warning those who sprayed red on George Washington statues to get involved, Trump is also fueling racial tensions using language and tropical forces in the days of segregation politics and fear of a destroyed neighborhood.
Some of the president’s political advisers are concerned that Trump is simultaneously distracted from the real health and economic crises the country is facing and alienate moderate voters whose views on race have gone through seeing monuments to the confederation as “history”.
But Trump insisted the issue was a winning one for him and refused to change direction.
“This is a battle to save the heritage, history and greatness of our country!” he wrote on Tuesday using the hashtag of his campaign # MAGA2020.
Polls have shown that voters now largely disagree with Trump’s actions in the race, including the vast majority of women. Sixty-four percent of women said in a New York Times / Siena poll last week that they resented Trump’s treatment of racial relations.
“I will veto the Defense Authorization Bill if Elizabeth‘ Pocahontas ’Warren (of all people!) Changes it, which will lead to a renaming (plus other bad things!) To Fort Bragg, Fort Robert E. Lee and many other military Bases from which we win two world wars is in the bill! ”Trump wrote.
Trump also rejected decisions to remove the names of Woodrow Wilson and John Wayne from buildings and launched a general attempt to punish people who destroy national monuments.
Black living matter
The president on Wednesday devised a plan recently released by New York City officials to paint the phrase “Black Lives Matter” in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. It would be another time for words to appear in capital letters outside one of Trump’s homes; The mayor of Washington last month expressed in big yellow letters on a street near the White House.
Work on the plan will begin in the coming days, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday. The day before, the New York City Council approved a budget that includes a billion-dollar cut to the city’s police department.
“NYC is cutting the dollar by a million dollars, and yet @NYCMayor painted the big, expensive, yellow sign Black Lives Matter on Fifth Avenue, refuting this luxury avenue,” Trump wrote on Twitter shortly after de Blasio announced the plan’s timeline. “It will further antagonize New York’s Finest.”
The president, who resists calls condemning white nationalists, went on to call the words “black matter” a “symbol of hatred” and suggested that police officers could block the act: “Perhaps our GREAT police, who are neutralized and despised by the mayor who hates and disrespects, will not allow this symbol of hatred to be attached to New York’s largest street. Instead, spend money to fight crime! “
Focus on legal housing law, citing the impact on the suburbs
The message came after a late-night tweet on Tuesday suggested that the federal housing bill in the Obama era, designed to combat segregation, had a “devastating impact” on the suburbs. Trump is trying to articulate his views with suburban voters, who were key to his 2016 victory, but polls now show he is losing badly – in part because of his racial divisions.
Trump wrote in a message that he was reviewing the affirmative extension of the Fair Housing Mandate, passed in 2015 as a way to strengthen the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which bans restrictions on selling or renting homes to people based on race – and which Trump and his father accused in a federal civil rights case of violating 1973.
“At the request of many great Americans living in the Suburbs and others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation which has a devastating impact on these once prosperous suburban areas,” Trump wrote. He said his election year rival Joe Biden wanted to make the suburbs “A LOT OF FOOD”.
“It’s not fair to homeowners,” Trump wrote, “I can finish!”
Yet it is unclear how Trump’s message – embedded in its time and content in conversations about race and equality – could help.
Effect of the Fair Housing Act
Despite the Fair Housing Act being in place for decades, many cities remain isolated and minority communities are less likely to have access to good schools, health care and public programs needed to help citizens get out of poverty. AFFH is considered crucial for further equalization of conditions for the poor.
In its official definition of the rules, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development says the AFFH is designed “to take meaningful action to overcome historical patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choices and encourage inclusive communities that are free from discrimination.”
The rule requires communities that receive federal funding to submit assessments and analyzes of their fair housing rules, which proponents of the rules say are necessary to be held accountable for compliance with the Fair Housing Act.
Trump himself has been accused of violating the Fair Housing Act when he ran his family’s real estate sales company in the 1970s. At the time, the Justice Department claimed that blacks inquiring about apartments in Trump’s buildings had been rejected, but that White renters had been offered rent.
The case was eventually resolved after Trump tried to suppress the lawsuit.
As early as 2018, the Trump administration said it was delaying the implementation of the AFFH rules, as part of its larger efforts to remove the legacy left by President Barack Obama. HUD then made the decision as part of its broader efforts to review the rules left over from the previous administration.
Earlier this year, HUD Secretary Ben Carson proposed a change that would essentially remove AFFH by saying that mayors and local officials know their communities better than the federal government and are in a better position to make housing decisions. This met with fierce opposition from housing advocates, who said removing the rules would make the housing situation less fair.
“This attack on fair housing is part of Trump’s ongoing efforts to remove civil rights protections and it must be stopped,” Lisa Rice, president and executive director of the National Fair Housing Alliance, said in March.
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