Donald Trump’s dogwhistles, or statements that don’t include blatantly racist language but allude to racist tropes, are no longer a surprise to anyone. His latest dogwhistle argument is about low-income housing in the suburbs, promising voters there that Biden will bring crime and violence to their neighborhoods by moving in poor people. Of course, Trump also has a lot of low-income supporters, so which ones exactly is he disparaging? On Wednesday, Trump followed some racist dogwhistling with a good conspiracy theory, two things his supporters seem to really love.
For decades, low-income housing has been associated with predominantly black residents, and threats that low-income housing would bring crime to the suburbs has been a way for white politicians to signal their voters that their opponents will be allowing for more diversity if they win an election, i.e. they’ll allow black and brown people to move in and take over. This isn’t a new trope; in fact, it’s been used to inflame racist fears for many, many years.
There is no evidence that low-income residents bring more crime to any area. Drugs and violence are as prevalent in suburban neighborhoods as they are in low-income areas, only a higher level of policing causes more arrests for these crimes in neighborhoods where more people are poor and, since the impoverished class is disproportionately black, more people are black.
As for Trump’s endless conspiracy theories about the investigation into his ties with Russia and the intelligence community, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Hillary Clinton, it’s hardly worth noting other than that it joins his dogwhistle racism as perfect examples of Trump’s two-part strategy: appeal to the racists and the crazies. After all, it won him an election in 2020.
Twitter had a lot to say about Trump’s pre-debate explosion. See some of their comments below: