Suburbs in America are filled with white people who claim to support progressive causes, but when it comes concrete local issues as opposed to abstract national ones, “white liberals are often more keen to acknowledge their privileges than to forfeit them,” Eric Levitz writes this Friday in The Daily Beast.
On Wednesday, President Trump vowed to protect “all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream” from being “bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood.” According to Levitz, Trump’s words were designed to appeal to white liberals who share his sentiment privately rather than publicly.
“NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) liberals want racially exclusionary zoning policies wrapped up in rhetoric about historical preservation, not Trump’s garish branding,” Levitz writes. In fact, when you rip off the NIMBY mask, you’ll find it’s just the classic “old man racism,” Levitz continues.
“Trump likely did more to advance the cause of neighborhood desegregation than that of his own reelection,” write Levitz. “A variety of euphemisms — and the fact that zoning laws are a form of government regulation — have helped liberal NIMBYs reconcile their political identities with their reactionary housing politics.”
But now, according to Levitz, Trump has made that more difficult.
“…among liberal homeowners who’d previously lacked strong views about local housing debates, Trump’s intervention could be a catalyst for pro-inclusive-zoning voting behavior and civic engagement,” which would be another example of Trump mobilizing Democrats against regressive policies they previously tolerated.
Read the full op-ed over at The Daily Beast.