By George Smith
It’s a government acronym that may not be familiar to a lot of folks.
American Freedom Fighters for the Homeland?Affirmative Force For Humanity?Affiliation of …(you fill in the blanks)..
Actually, it’s a seldom used or seen acronym outside of the Washington-on-the-Deficit Beltway and it won’t be seen again if President Donald Trump has anything to do it.
AFFH is one of the most clumsy of all government acronyms: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH).
The AFFH act is a legal requirement that federal agencies and federal grantees further the purposes of the Fair Housing Act. In other words, this act is intended to ensure the federal government does what it’s mandated to do, ensure all Americans are treated fairly in the housing industry.
This obligation to “affirmatively further fair housing” was not of the Obama Administration era, as one pundit opined; it has been in the Fair Housing Act since 1968 and is under the umbrella that is the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
President Donald Trump Sunday announced it was his intention eliminate this part of the federal housing requirements.
Anyone surprised at his decision?
The Justice Department in 1973 sued Donald Trump, his father, Fred, and Trump Management in order to obtain a settlement in which Trump and his father would promise not to discriminate. The case eventually was settled two years later after Trump tried to countersue the Justice Department for $100 million for making false statements. Those allegations were dismissed by the court.
Normally, such an announcement about the AFFH would be made by the head of HUD, which in this case, is Dr. Ben Carson, the only black member of Trump’s cabinet. But this is a race issue, pure and simple, and when it comes to propagandizing the division of the races, no one upstages the president.
To make sure we’re on the same page, HUD’s AFFH rule provides an effective planning approach to aid program participants in taking meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination.
As provided in the rule, AFFH means “taking 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. Specifically, affirmatively furthering fair housing means taking meaningful actions that, taken together, address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws.”
Trump is adamant the AFFH must go because its intent is to “destroy” the suburbs (read “white suburbs”).
It’s hard not to wonder why he hadn’t focused on this act previously, based on his feelings and his steady flow of weasel-words of encouragement to white supremacists; after all, he notoriously stated that there were “good people” on both sides of the furor over examples of abject racism in America.
Trump doubled down on the race issue this weekend by declaring his staunch opposition to renaming military bases named for Confederate generals. In his famously inarticulate manner, Trump declared bases named for Confederate generals
(like Fort Bragg, North Carolina), should not be renamed because, as he said, the U.S. won two world wars — “beautiful word wars” — with soldiers from those bases.
What Trump does not say, and neither will his Trumpuppets, is that those bases were named for Confederate generals in the 20th Century, many in the 1920’s, during a resurrection of the Ku Klux Klan in the South.
Those bases were named for traitors, and glorifying their memory by having patriots to the United States train under their names to fight to protect this county, instead of attempting to tear it asunder, is simply unacceptable.
Racism much, Mr. President?
(Whispered answer: “Every chance I get. Every chance.”)
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