Reverend Al Sharpton expressed his disgust following Donald Trump’s remarks about the suburbs and low income housing. He believes Trump has gone beyond dog whistling.
The President tweeted on Wednesday that he had changed an Obama era rule about low income housing that he claimed was harming house prices and causing crime in suburban neighborhoods.
Sharpton told MSNBC on Thursday that this was clearly a racial message.
“We’ve gone from dog whistling to dog barking now, and hoping that if he barks at the dog, the dog will bark back,” Sharpton said.
“He has made a business and political career out of ‘they are going to ruin your neighborhood. I will keep them out of your neighborhood. I will protect you from the Blacks.’ And that’s what he’s going to hear.”
“In a blatant way with no cover, saying they will ruin your neighborhood. It’s all of that that comes with it, they’re robbers, they’re thieves, they will rape your daughters, that’s what he’s messaging here,” he said.
Sharpton sharply criticized Trump for making the statement as the nation mourns Civil Rights icon and Democratic Congressman John Lewis.
“And what is even more offensive, because those of us in the Civil Rights community that have known him are not surprised by it, but what is so blatantly despicable, Joe, is he does it on the period of time we’re mourning John Lewis, who will be funeralized today,” Sharpton said.
“Not only did he not do anything to say in any serious manner how great John Lewis was, he’s going to use this, that we have three presidents on their way to John Lewis’s funeral, to blatantly play the race card and appeal to what he hopes are the white fears that are still there.”
“This is about as low as you can go.”
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media