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John Robinson

Research Findings

How credit matters for racial and economic justice

October 22, 2020

When Donald Trump warned voters that Senator Corey Booker might someday obliterate the suburbs by overseeing a massive buildup of public housing there, we all knew exactly what he meant. His words, like those of countless politicians before him, were carefully chosen to drum up white resentment and backlash against racial minorities.

He intuited that an easy way to do so was to invoke the myth of a federal government that abused its power to gratify minorities at the expense of white families, especially by forcing racial desegregation. The irony, however, is that the federal government today plays a relatively small role in the provision of housing for low-income renters, hemmed in largely by the same forces of white resentment and backlash that Trump sought to stir up.

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