‘Gimme Shelter’: The discriminatory history behind Trump’s appeal to ‘Suburban Housewives of America’

President Trump speaks during a news conference last week at the White House.
(Associated Press)

Last week, President Trump announced a repeal of an Obama-era regulation that aimed to racially integrate neighborhoods across the country, claiming that it was overly bureaucratic and unnecessary.

But that decision is just one of numerous appeals the president has made in recent months to white voters’ fears of crime and declining property values, especially those living in suburban communities. Trump has spoken of Democrats’ “bringing who knows into your suburbs” and warning on Twitter that the integration plan was a danger to “The Suburban Housewives of America”.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we describe how Trump’s words and actions fit into a century-long history of the federal government working with private real estate interests to develop and maintain segregated communities. We also discuss how the president’s conception of the suburbs as uniformly white, and affordable housing as crime-ridden, are outdated and false stereotypes. Our guest is Karyn Lacy, a sociologist at the University of Michigan and expert on changing demographics in the suburbs.

Gimme Shelter,”a biweekly podcast that looks at why it’s so expensive to live in California and what the state can do about it, features Liam Dillon, who covers housing affordability issues for the Los Angeles Times, and Matt Levin, data and housing reporter for CalMatters.


You can subscribe to “Gimme Shelter” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Google Play and Overcast.