A late-night directive that appeared to have come out of nowhere, Trump bids that he would reverse AFFH policy in order to ” save homeowners housing from going down in value.” A bid that is also directed blatantly towards white suburban homeowners by using the same argument commonly found in historical strategies that were used to push degradation in the suburbs. Basically stating “If you let lower-income Blacks into the neighborhood, crime will increase and your home value will decrease. So why not prevent them from having the chance to move in.”
He claims this is the result of ” the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and others.” Although, it is hard to pinpoint if he means others as in “other white homeowners” or “other Trump administrators that see this as a good idea.”
Let’s start with what AFFH really is. The AFFH rule sets a framework that makes local government, states, and local housing agencies take steps to prevent discriminatory housing choice (refusing to sell someone a home based only on race), promote fair housing choice, and prevent historical patterns of segregation in regards to home placement.
This act was issued by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HUD act, a cabinet-level agency that originated in 1965 for the purpose of helping Americans meet their housing needs and finding homes that fit the quota for buyers.
Besides the fact that the AFFH was made only to prevent segregation and racism, Trump’s actions are a very deliberate attack against the efforts of past Black Lives Matter movements, this rule was also an effort to “decrease disparities in access to opportunity.”
So why is it that Trump decided to randomly attack an act that has been put to play since 2015 and has no repercussions tax-wise to homeowners or imply any new unusual obligations for them and instead allows them more options?
“He’s flatly saying that property values will go down and crime will increase if black people move into your neighborhoods,” said Diane Yentel, president of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. “It’s especially abhorrent for Trump to be furthering racial entrenchment of segregated communities at this moment in our history.”
Many critics say something I’m inclined to agree with, that after recent gathering meant to gather voters for trump received dismal results in the wake of COVID and Black Lives Matter Movements this is a last-minute attempt to gain more votes from white homeowners by playing racial politics. And while this may gain more attention from racist homeowners and those living in the suburbs it is still considered an empty political stunt. One of which isn’t made to help homeowners but in the words of Trump’s administration team, “to tweak the administrative burden, to lighten the load” for administrations that supply and regulate these housings.
It’s clear that Trump and his team isn’t looking to help Blacks or Whites, the one thing he is looking to help is his voter count in places that he knows voted for him in the past. Why else would he not look for better ways to encourage and better education instead of threatening to cut school funding for schools that won’t reopen ( a redundant act that if taken would cause the school to close, either way, preventing children regardless of race in learning). Why else would his administration attack international students and prevent them from attending school regardless of if they held classes entirely online instead of looking for ways to lessen the financial burden on college students during COVID. Why else would he mock and belittle other politicians, commenting on other’s “mental sharpness” as if arguing in a playground, instead of introducing himself as a civil and trustworthy president that won’t leak important political information through social media every week?
It’s clear that from the start Trump was never informed or had any background in political leadership. Time and time again it has become a habit for Trump to publically announce something without a second thought and later be told behind scenes by his more experienced administrative staff that what he said was blatantly untrue.
Each time Trump’s administration proposes another empty promise it only furthers the fact that as American citizens we cant leave everything in the hands of those with more money and more standing. From high school students to unemployed citizens, we need to look into and educate ourselves on what our politicians are really saying. We need to recognize Trump’s “big words” for the simple and derogatory nature it really is. We can’t sit back and say “its useless to do anything about it in the end” because nothing is worse than inaction in a time of action.
Written by: Brielle R. Buford
Edited by Sheena Robertson
Dayton Daily News: Fair housing groups slam Trump’s suburban racial rhetoric
Bloomberg City Lab: Trump Targets Efforts to Desegregate U.S. Suburbs
CNN: Trump pitches White suburban voters in blatantly political White House event
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Tabitha Kaylee Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License