It's a major part of Trump's pitch to 'suburban women.'
On the second day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearings, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked if Barrett knew of any legislative efforts to roll back racial desegregation.
"You're not aware of any effort to go back to the good old days of segregation by a legislative body, is that correct?" Graham asked.
"That is correct," Barrett replied, noting that Brown vs. Board of Education constitutes a 'super-precedent" — a legal clause so well-established that it's not in danger of being overturned by lawmakers or the courts.
Yet, Graham seems to be forgetting that Donald Trump, who nominated Barrett, has worked to maintain racial segregation in suburban areas.
As the American Independent Foundation previously reported, Trump pledged to get rid of an Obama-era program designed to facilitate the creation of affordable housing in the 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 in July. "Corrupt Joe Biden wants to make them MUCH WORSE. Not fair to homeowners, I may END!"
That month, the Trump administration revoked the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. Experts warned that getting rid of the policy would result in racial discrimination.
"It's the complete opposite of what we need from the federal government and [the Department of Housing and Urban Development] in this moment when the country is grappling with racial injustice and really desperate for strategies to change that and to overcome that," said Debby Goldberg, vice president of Housing Policy and Special Projects at the National Fair Housing Alliance.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness detailed the ramifications of dropping the rule.
"The AFFH rule is a critically important tool for addressing the housing discrimination caused by historical and systemic racism in our cities, towns and communities," the organization said in a press release. "It laid out a critical next step in ensuring that localities take meaningful action to address those disparities."
The group pointed out that the program is essential to curbing homelessness and racial discrimination.
"People experiencing homelessness — including people of color and those with disabilities –– routinely encounter discrimination when seeking housing," they wrote. "Not only do they face a critical, nationwide shortage of housing they can afford (including housing that is accessible) but they are discriminated against when they seek to access the housing that is available. Their right to access housing is guaranteed under the Fair Housing Act and must be protected and advanced – not eroded – by our nation’s leaders."
Trump previously boasted about overturning the rule, claiming that suburban women "want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood."
"Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Corey [sic] Booker in charge," he tweeted in August.
At a rally Tuesday, Trump begged suburban women to support him.
"Do me a favor, suburban women, would you please like me?" Trump pleaded in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. "I saved your damn neighborhood, okay?" Polls show Biden ahead of Trump in Pennsylvania, an essential swing state that helped Trump secure victory in 2016.
Keeping the suburbs white and wealthy has been a major part of Trump's pitch to voters during the campaign. In September, he claimed that Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) are set on destroying the suburbs, claiming Booker with be "in charge" of a program to "destroy suburbia."
Graham, an avid Trump supporter, recently made comments downplaying racism in America.
"Do I believe our cops are systemically racist? No. Do I believe South Carolina is a racist state?" Graham said, in a debate with his Democratic opponent, Jaime Harrison Saturday. "No. Let me tell you why. To young people out there, young people of color, young immigrants, this is a great state, but one thing I can say without any doubt, you can be an African American and go to the Senate but you just have to share our values."
"If you're a young, African American or an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative, not liberal,” Graham concluded.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.