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What We’re Following
Vermin supreme: When President Donald Trump tweeted this weekend that Baltimore is a “rat and rodent infested mess,” he was continuing a long pattern of using this kind of rhetoric to describe a majority-black city. This particular attack was in response to Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, whose district includes West Baltimore, after Cummings criticized inhumane conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump is hardly the first to weaponize the idea of an “infestation” to discriminate against African Americans, and that phenomenon has a special resonance in Baltimore. Early in the 20th century, city leaders used “the language of public health to restrict where African Americans could live,” writes Paige Glotzer, a historian of American housing segregation. Today on CityLab, she tells the story of how Baltimore’s policymakers pioneered racially discriminatory housing laws that were adopted nationwide, and how “the infestation language of the past century… has defined the whole landscape of American discrimination.” Read her perspective: The Racist History Lurking Behind Trump’s Attack on Baltimore
More on CityLab
What We’re Reading
How “developer” became such a dirty word (New York Times)
Congress takes a new stab at passing self-driving car legislation (The Verge)
The census could undercount people who don’t have internet access (Slate)