(CNN) – On Monday, President Donald Trump went after attempts to strip the names of racists from buildings.
On Tuesday, it was a federal housing rule meant to combat racial segregation.
By Wednesday, Trump was calling the words “black lives matter” a “symbol of hate” — a description he’s refused to use for Confederate emblems — that would spoil the “luxury avenue” he once called home.
Navigating a precarious political moment, Trump continues seizing upon widening cultural divisions in a way he believes will appeal to voters concerned about safety and order — despite polls showing wide disapproval of how he’s handling race relations.
As he distributes wanted posters of suspected vandals on his Twitter feed and warns those who splashed red paint on statues of George Washington to turn themselves in, Trump is also stoking racial tensions using language and tropes that harken to the days of segregationist politics and fears of ruined neighborhoods.
The effort has been waged mostly on Trump’s Twitter page, which over the weekend featured a video of a supporter in Florida chanting “White power.” Trump later removed it, though he left up a video of two White homeowners in St. Louis protecting their stone mansion with firearms as a Black Lives Matter march went past.