As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump routinely told largely white audiences, “Look at how much African-American communities are suffering from Democratic control. To those I say the following: what do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose?”
The answer, it turns out, was quite a bit. As we discussed a month ago, the Republican president has not only ignited ugly racial controversies in his first year in office, Trump has also taken steps to hurt urban investment, and last month, announced plans “to delay enforcement of a federal housing rule that requires communities to address patterns of racial residential segregation.”
Alas, the list doesn’t end there. The Washington Post reported yesterday on new developments at the CFPB.
The Trump administration has stripped enforcement powers from a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unit responsible for pursuing discrimination cases, part of a broader effort to reshape an agency it criticized as acting too aggressively.
The move to sharply restrict the responsibilities of the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity comes about two months after President Trump installed his budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, at the head of the bureau. The office previously used its powers to force payouts in several prominent cases, including settlements from lenders it alleged had systematically charged minorities higher interest rates than they had for whites.
The unit will apparently still exist, but according to the article, it’ll focus on “advocacy, coordination and education,” instead of enforcement and oversight.
Also yesterday, the New York Times reported that Trump’s Justice Department has “effectively shuttered an Obama-era office dedicated to making legal aid accessible to all citizens,” which also appears likely to adversely affect minority communities.
The president, on a nearly daily basis, points to low unemployment among African Americans as proof that he’s a champion of people of color. In reality, Trump is taking credit for developments he has nothing to do with, while simultaneously taking steps to leave African Americans worse off than they were before he took office.