Donald Trump appears to be returning to his political roots and tapping into the fears of White America to gain momentum for his campaign. On Wednesday, the impeached president suggested in a tweet that suburban housewives (read: White women) should be fearful of the low-income housing (read: low wage earners who have been kept out of certain neighborhoods due to discrimination and segregation) that would take over their neighborhoods if Biden were to win.
“The ‘suburban housewife’ will be voting for me. They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood,” Trump wrote. “Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Corey Booker in charge!”
The tweet is reminiscent of a 2016 campaign tactic where Trump often told the “suburban housewife” that if Democrats, later Hillary Clinton, won the election, the MS13 gang would overrun her neighborhood and Mexicans would rape and murder her family members. Trump used these methods throughout his campaign and has touched on some of his same racist speaking points throughout his time at the White House. Today’s tweet suggests the campaign is in full gear.
In addition to the overt rhetoric regarding housewives and low-income housing, Trump also suggests that Biden, like him, would pick the Black, male candidate who ran against him to be in charge of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Biden has not announced his plans for a HUD Secretary, nor do the policies he’s rolled out suggest Trump’s tweet has any basis of truth. But neither will negate the fact that Trump can successfully stoke the fears of the “suburban housewife” voter who is already concerned by the thought of a Black woman VP and will be even more disturbed by the thought of another Black cabinet member.
What it is also true is that Biden has promised to reinstate the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) mandate, which was instated as part of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, and required federal agencies and federal grantees to actively address and work to eliminate housing discrimination and segregation. In 2015, that rule was modified under the Obama Administration to require that localities analyze housing discrimination and segregation in their areas and come up with plans to tackle the findings. Early this year, current HUD Secretary Ben Carson suspended the 2015 rule indefinitely.
Andrew Bates, director of Rapid Response for the Biden Campaign, suggested Trump’s decision to restate the point about low-income housing in suburban neighborhoods (he tweeted almost the exact same thing last month) is an act of desperation. “Donald Trump’s presidency is melting down after his failed, divisive, erratic leadership has cost over 160,000 American lives, tens of millions of jobs and left the United States the hardest-hit country in the world by COVID-19.” Bates continued, “As he struggles in vain attempts to tear the American people apart and distract the country from his devastating mismanagement with clumsy, bigoted lies, he’s only further discrediting himself—and proving that he’s dumbfounded after Joe Biden’s selection of a strong running mate who he himself said not two weeks ago would be a ‘fine choice.’ “
Cory Booker also commented on Trump’s tweet, telling the commander in chief to put some respect on his name—it’s Cory, no “e”—and reel his racism in just a smidge.