Trump in trouble revisits his tried-and-true — protecting your neighborhood from ‘them’

As polls show his base stagnant and his poll numbers dropping, Donald Trump has decided to replay an old favorite. While trying to strike fear of the invading “other” is right out of the 1968 playbook of both Richard Nixon and George Wallace, it’s also a tactic Trump honed at his father’s knee. It makes perfect sense for Trump in trouble to return to what he knows — and he knows all about shutting the literal and figurative door on Black folks moving into white neighborhoods.

In the 1970s, Trump and his father, Fred Trump — president and chairman, respectively, of Trump Management — were named as defendants in lawsuits brought by the Justice Department, accusing them of turning away African Americans who applied to rent apartments in some of the company’s buildings. That would be breaking the letter and spirit of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, something that was by no means the exception among property owners of the time.

The reaction, though, was pure Donald Trump. Rather than settle the lawsuits quietly, as some did, he called the charges “absolutely ridiculous,” denied them, countersued and said the government was trying to make him rent to “welfare recipients,” all sadly predictable. Though the Trumps eventually settled without admitting guilt, test renters of different races received different treatment, and investigations found that certain discarded applications were marked with “C” for “colored.”

Though the coding for a tenant deemed undesirable has changed, the sentiment remains. Trump 2020, in the middle of tweeting misinformation about COVID-19 treatment during a pandemic that has taken more than 150,000 lives in the United States, has decided that the best reelection strategy is fear, warning “Suburban Housewives of America” that Joe Biden “will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream,” and that electing the former vice president would mean hordes of people moving in, and lowering home values and raising crime rates.

Yikes! Is the president trying to protect me from me?

Cory Booker bows out, Ben Carson backs off fair housing and issues of race recede in America

OPINION — It doesn’t take a candidate of color on a debate stage to raise issues of justice and inequality. But that has been the way it has worked out, mostly.

For example, it was exhilarating for many when then-candidate Julián Castro said in a Democratic debate, “Police violence is also gun violence,” while naming Atatiana Jefferson, killed in her Fort Worth, Texas, home by a police officer who shot through the window without identifying himself. Castro’s words were an acknowledgment of the lived experiences of many in America. He has since dropped out of the race, as has California Sen. Kamala Harris, who chided her party for taking the support of black women for granted.

Charlotte Talks News Roundup: Facebook Data, School Safety, CMS Segregation

The Facebook data scandal finds its way to North Carolina. Republican senator Thom Tillis used the company at the center of the uproar, Cambridge Analytica, to target voters, as did the state Republican Party.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox offers a glimpse at post-Parkland security measures, as state lawmakers begin examining school safety.

A new report labels CMS the most racially-segregated school system in North Carolina, and says income-based segregation in the district is up sharply.

Mike Collins leads a discussion on the week’s news with our reporters roundtable.

GUESTS

David Boraks, reporter, WFAE

Glenn Burkins, editor and publisher, Q City Metro

Mary C. Curtis, columnist, Roll Call (@mcurtisnc3)

Ann Doss Helms, education reporter, The Charlotte Observer 

Black History Month Lessons for ‘Trump World’

Every year, when February rolls around, you hear the same questions: Why do we need a Black History Month? When is White History Month? (The answer to that second question is January through December, by the way.)

For the answer to the first, look no further than the movie that just picked up the top award from the Screen Actors Guild. “Hidden Figures” is about the African-American female mathematicians who helped propel the U.S. space program, and who were mostly left out of the history books and previous film accounts of NASA and the talents who made it soar. (John Glenn wouldn’t leave home without their trajectory equations.)

When people of color and women play more than token roles in the telling of this nation’s history, there will no longer be a need to remedy omissions with a designated month here and there.

In 2017, we are far from that moment.

 

HUD settles case alleging housing discrimination against domestic violence victim

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) plans to announce Wednesday that it has reached agreements with the owners and managers of two Berlin, N.H., properties, to settle allegations that they engaged in housing discrimination for refusing to rent to a woman who was a victim of domestic violence.

Although most know that the Fair Housing Act from 1968, and the amendments and executive orders that followed, protect against discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability, it may come as a surprise that victims of domestic violence are covered as well. It is a violation of the act to treat victims of domestic violence differently than victims of any other crime.

“These individuals are being victimized twice,” Gustavo Velasquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity told She the People — first by the aggressor and then by a landlord who is refusing to renew a lease or threatening to evict. He called the situation both “immoral and illegal,” and said that “HUD remains committed to ensuring and promoting fair housing opportunities for women and men alike.”