Trump’s Attack on Booker Would Be Laughable If It Wasn’t So Racist

The president has once again demonstrated that he judges people based on the color of their skin.

During his interview with Laura Ingraham on Monday night, Donald Trump revived his racist meme about how Joe Biden and Democrats would destroy life for women in the suburbs.

So you have this beautiful community in the suburbs, including women, right? Women, they want security. I ended where they build low income housing projects right in the middle of your neighborhood. I ended it. If Biden gets in, he already said it’s going to go at a much higher rate than ever before. And you know who’s going to be in charge of it? Cory Booker. That’s going to be nice, OK?

Just to be clear, Trump is referring to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which was an Obama-era attempt to continue the implementation of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

The rule, which was finalized in July 2015 and has been in limbo since Obama left office, is designed to push “meaningful actions, in addition to combating discrimination, that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics.” Put simply, it was designed to help state and local officials provide better access to opportunity, following the original 1968 guideline.

So why has Trump repeatedly said that Cory Booker would be the one to implement that rule? (Senators don’t implement rules, of course.) It could be because some conservatives are apoplectic over the HOME Act that the New Jersey Democrat is championing in the Senate. The Housing Opportunity Mobility and Equity Act would create incentives and use some sticks to get suburban communities to at least make plans for how to open up more housing for renters. It’s a modest measure and it’s also sponsored by plenty of other Democratic senators who aren’t African-American. But of course, Trump has no idea what the HOME Act is. What makes Booker stand out in Trump’s mind is that he is a Black Democratic man.

If Trump had looked beyond Booker’s skin, he would have found what Rebecca Buck reported about the senator when he first entered the presidential race in Iowa.

Sen. Cory Booker has promised to run a relentlessly positive and unifying campaign,…Whether Democratic voters think a candidate wrapped in a message of love has the mettle to beat Trump might be one the fundamental questions around Booker’s campaign. As Booker conceded himself following his campaign launch, “Love ain’t easy.”

But it’s a theme that has underpinned his political identity for many years, dating back to his time in Newark.

Or perhaps the president would have heard snippets like this from Booker during the Democratic presidential debates.

Whether you agree with Booker’s approach on fair housing and a love-based campaign, the last thing you can accuse him of is being the racist stereotype of a scary Black man out to destroy the white suburbs. But Booker isn’t always focused on love and unity.

The former mayor of Newark is heartbroken over our response to what is happening to African Americans in this country.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once dreamed of a country where we would all be judged by the content of our character. The President of the United States judges people by the color of their skin, ignoring the content of their character. That is the definition of racist.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.