Topic: Media Research Center
President Trump's fearmongering about low-income people moving into the suburbs was always a racial appeal, if not a racist dog whistle, but the Media Research Center wants you to think otherwise. Let's go back a little and examine how it did that.
A July 17 post by Duncan Schroeder was offended that CNN host W. Kamau Bell commented on Trump's assertion that Democrats will the suburbs by noting that "the suburbs were created for white flight: "Bell lied because the notion of 'white flight' is a myth that has no statistical basis." Actually, there are plenty of statistics to prove that white flight into the suburbs was very much a fact after World War II.
To bolster his claim that "African Americans have actually fled inner cities at higher rates than whites and the five largest suburbs in the U.S. have the fastest growing black populations in the U.S. No doubt to escape issues such as crime and poverty created by failed progressive policies," Schroeder's cited a column from right-wing columnist Walter Williams and a Fox News opinion piece by an employee of the right-wing Hudson Institute -- never mind that doing so contradicts his original assertion that white flight is a "myth."
When the Trump administration canceled a rule insituted under the Obama administration called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing that sought to ensure that communities had plans to address housing discrimination and degregation with Trump himself claiming that it would keep low-income housing out ofthe suburbs, the MRC -- as you'd expect from the media arm of the Trump campaign -- tried to downplay that aspect.
A July 30 post by Kristine Marsh dismissed the rule as "radical government overreach" and highlighted "years of conservative criticism to the unfair housing rule which puts local governments and homeowners’ decisions into the hands of the federal government." She linked to a 2015 MRC post uncritically quoting then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly fearmongering that the rule would "regulate and enforce the diversity of neighborhoods (and particularly wealthy ones)."
Schroeder returned on July 31 to declare that the AFFH rule as an "Obama power grab"and claimed that a CNN correspondent "unabashedly lied by claiming that Trump rescinded the policy to appeal to 'white suburban voters' and to inflame 'racial divisions and the racial culture wars.'" Denying the racial aspect, Schroeder followed the MRC narrative by insisting:
Conservatives, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, have long opposed the AFFH. They opposed the policy because it enabled the federal government to bypass local governments and homeowners by charging the federal government with planning their neighborhoods for them. The policy increased local taxes by requiring towns to build larger water and sewer lines, add mass transportation, and increase school sizes and social services. Stanley Kurtz of the Ethics and Public Policy Center wrote that the policy perverted the intention of 1968 Fair Housing Act through “federal overreach on steroids” which “nullifies the very idea of legislative democracy.”
Schroeder also repeated his falsehood about "the myth of white flight, which says that whites fled from the inner cities to the suburbs because minorities couldn’t afford to live in the suburbs." Schroeder ignored the fact that racist covenents barred housing from being sold to Black people in many early suburbs until the practice was made illegal. Schroeder then ranted: "Thus, Trump is also speaking to the many successful minority residents of suburbs all across the country. Does [the CNN correspondent] not believe that minorities in the U.S. can be successful enough to afford the suburbs? That would be well, racist."
Michael Dellano proclaimed that a commentator admitting that some non-white people live in suburbs negated the argument that Trump is making a racist appeal: "Trump obviously wants all suburban voters, regardless of race, to feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods, but the leftist media cannot swallow that truth."
On Aug. 12, Schroeder declared the AFFH to be "onerous" and regurgitated his previous biased attack. Marsh added that "it’s only the mediawho keeps bringing up racism when Trump talks about the suburbs," linking to Schroeder's post as alleged proof.
Tim Graham tried to turn things around by claiming those accusing Trump of racism are the real racists:
Journalists boast about how they hold the president accountable for his statements. But far too often, they mangle his statements, especially the ones that can sound racially insensitive. At Wednesday night's briefing, President Trump was asked about his use of the word "invasion" to describe Democratic plans to mandate low-income housing in suburban neighborhoods, which can be expected to decrease property values, as any realtor knows.
The word "invasion" is florid, and it's often applied to illegal immigration, so liberals are already prone to interpret it as racist or an application of racial code words. But PBS White House reporter Yamiche Alcindor completely mangled Trump's answer into something it was not.
So he's saying that suburban homeowners are going to be financially harmed, including minorities. It's the Left that thinks "low-income housing" must mean black and brown people. How cynical is that?
Not as cynical as pretending anything Trump says can be taken at face value, and that he's not really making a racial appeal at its core.
Marsh, meanwhile, went on her own rant:
The media has been hell-bent on making Trump’s comments about race even when they defeat their own argument by admitting the suburbs are actually diverse. Furthermore, the media actually reveals their own racism by assuming that minorities don’t want to live in safe and prospering neighborhoods. Mitchell herself has grossly mischaracterized what Trump’s said on this issue, sneering on a previous show he was really telling whites, “I’m going to protect you from black people.”
Ignoring reality is the MRC's job these days -- after all, it is the media arm of the Trump campaign.