Michelle Obama calls Trump ‘racist’ for talking about riots, suburbs

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Former first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday slammed President Trump as “racist” for talking about violence at recent anti-police brutality protests and for saying he defended the suburbs against low-income housing.

Obama said in a 26-minute video touting Democratic candidate Joe Biden that Republicans are “stoking fears about black and brown Americans, lying about how minorities will destroy the suburbs, whipping up violence and intimidation. And they’re pinning it all on what’s been an overwhelmingly peaceful movement for racial solidarity.”

She continued: “Research backs it up, only a tiny fraction of demonstrations have had any violence at all. So what the president is doing is once again patently false, it’s morally wrong. And yes, it is racist. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work.”

Trump, recovering at the White House after three nights in the hospital for COVID-19 treatment, did not immediately return fire on Twitter.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Samantha Zager said, “These baseless attacks from a former First Lady only prove Joe Biden has yet to shore up support from Black Americans after taking their votes for granted and failing minority communities for decades.”

In recent public remarks, Trump said he’s done more for blacks than any president since Abraham Lincoln, who defeated the slave states in the Civil War. He routinely cites his 2018 criminal justice reform law, “opportunity zone” incentives for urban renewal and permanent funding for historically black universities.

In condemning riots following the May killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police, Trump highlighted the impact of arson and looting on black-owned businesses. And he defended as good for all races his repeal of an Obama administration policy that he said would have forced low-income housing into suburbs.

“Thirty percent of the people in the suburbs are minorities. And so, we’re ruining this American dream for everybody,” Trump said of the repealed policy last week at a rally in Duluth, Minnesota.

A protester gestures in front of a fire during the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 30.REUTERS

Trump has slammed Biden’s record on issues impacting African-Americans, specifically highlighting Biden’s authorship of the 1994 federal crime law credited with contributing to the mass-incarceration of blacks.

Trump unveiled a so-called “Platinum Plan” for black voters at a Sept. 25 event in Atlanta, including a new clemency commission, and accused Biden of supporting trade and immigration policies and wars that harmed blacks.

“For half a century, Joe has personally advocated or enacted every policy that has caused pain and suffering to the black community,” Trump said at the event.

Angela Stanton-King, a black Republican running for Congress in Georgia after receiving a pardon from Trump in February, also rejected Obama’s accusation.