Trump threatens to bring housing segregation back to the suburbs

Trump said he wants to nix an Obama-era regulation designed to desegregate suburban housing.

Donald  Trump once again fanned the flames of racial tension in the United  States when he said he is looking to get rid of a policy aimed at  helping to desegregate suburbs.

"At the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and  others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a  devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas," Trump tweeted late Tuesday night. "Corrupt Joe Biden wants to make them MUCH WORSE. Not fair to homeowners, I may END!"

The AFFH is an acronym for "affirmatively further fair housing." Former President Barack Obama established the policy in 2015 as an add on to the Fair Housing Act, a 1968 law that bans  discrimination "concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing  based on race, religion, national origin, sex, (and as amended) handicap  and family status," according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"The AFFH rule sets out a framework for local governments, States,  and public housing agencies (PHAs) to take meaningful actions to  overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice,  and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination,"  reads a HUD fact-sheet.

The Trump administration has been working to eliminate the AFFH rule —  yet another one of Trump's attempts to roll back Obama-era policy.

In 2018, Trump's HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced proposed changes to the rule, claiming it is "suffocating investment in some of our most distressed neighborhoods."

Experts told NBC News in January that eliminating the rule could "further racial discrimination."

Trump's Tuesday night tweet about the fair housing policy comes as  the United States is reckoning with its racist past, with Americans  taking to the streets to demand racial justice following the murders of  multiple Black Americans at the hands of white police officers.

Polls show Americans don't support Trump's handling of racism and  inequality in the United States, helping lead to a precipitous decline  in his standing with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe  Biden.

Trump has used violent rhetoric about the protests, and stood by as  peaceful protesters were tear-gassed outside the White House last month  to clear a path for him to take a photo with a Bible.

Trump's tweet also serves as a reminder of his own sordid history on racial discrimination,  when he refused to rent apartments to Black tenants when he took on a  larger role in his father's real estate empire in New York.

A federal investigation in the 1970s found Trump's company used codes to denote minorities on applications  for housing, including "C" for "colored," which then helped them push  Black and Puerto Rican applicants to properties with minorities.

In 1973, the Department of Justice sued Trump Management for discrimination, which Trump later settled.

"The same man who was sued by the DOJ for housing discrimination now  wants to legalize housing discrimination," Senate Minority Leader Chuck  Schumer tweeted in response to Trump's comments on the AFFH.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. Attribution to Emily Singer