Donald's White Lies
Racism for Beginners
The business of racism is an interesting one to follow. Racism - for many - is a family heirloom they can't seem let go of and is gifted from one generation to the next - as if hate has some sort of monetary value. Being a racist is really a cradle to grave operation. Otherizing empowers the weak to feel superior, it gives the lost a scapegoat to point at, and it works to repress almost any section of citizenry by simply using one word: 'Them.' It's really rather an efficient way to put your boot on someone else's neck with very little actual physical effort. Of course, some zealots take it to the extreme, burning crosses on lawns, killing people praying in a church, or joining the KKK for some old fashioned lynching - a common practice back when America Was Great. But most racists keep their racism close to the belt, they don't brag about it, they just save it for back rooms, viral emailing, and white supremacist retweeting.
Born This Way
Some people are saying that Trump can't help himself - that being 3/5s of a racist is in his genes and that he couldn't possibly outgrow it or mature out of it. It's just evolution. Of course, Trump himself will tell you he's "the least racist person you'll ever meet." He also said last year, "My legacy has its roots in my father's legacy." Trump's father is Fred Trump. One of Fred Trump's enduring footnotes is his arrest record for participating in a violent KKK rally in Queens that ended in a clash with police.
Eating Jim Crow - 1973
Trump has a colored history of engaging in Jim Crow tactics. His work experience and past actions show racial bias going back decades - those facts are in history books.
In 1973 - when Donald Trump was already president of the Trump Organization - the U.S. Justice Department took him and his father to court after former employees claimed lease applicants for his apartment buildings were screened according to race. The discrimination complaint stated that managers renting his apartments across Brooklyn and Queens used several tactics to turn down black families looking to rent. One rental agent said Trump’s father had told him not to rent to blacks and that he actually wanted to reduce the number of African Americans in his buildings. Three doormen said they had been instructed to deflect blacks who came to Trump buildings to apply for apartments. One employee told the government that he was instructed to mark rental applications from blacks with the letter “C” for “colored,” and that “he did this every time a black person applied for an apartment.” Two former Trump employees, a husband and wife who rented properties, were quoted in court documents as saying they were told that the company wanted to rent only to “Jews and Executives” and “discouraged rentals to blacks.” The couple told the government’s lawyers that they were advised that “a racial code was in effect, blacks being referred to as ‘No. 9.’ ” The Washington Post reports:
Organizations such as the Urban League began to send testers to Trump properties.
In July 1972 two would-be renters were actually sent as undercover "testers" for a government sanctioned investigation to determine whether Trump Management Inc. discriminated against minorities seeking housing in any of the 16,000 apartments units it managed throughout New York. In a test at Shore Haven Apartments in Brooklyn, the black woman "renter" - who asked to rent an apartment in the complex managed by Donald Trump’s real estate company - was told that nothing was available. A short time later, the same superintendent who had rejected the black woman told a white woman "renter" tester that she could “immediately rent either one of two available apartments.” That's testimony in just one incident. The tests played out across Queens and Brooklyn and revealed a pattern and the housing activists findings were reported in court filings. White testers were encouraged to rent at certain Trump buildings, while the black testers were discouraged, denied or steered to apartment complexes that had more racial minorities.
Phyllis Spiro, a white woman who went undercover in 1973 at a Trump property, told investigators how a building superintendent acknowledged to her that "he followed a racially discriminatory rental policy at the direction of his superiors, and that there were only very few ‘colored’ tenants” at the complex.
In case after case - when you "look at the statistics" - potential renters who happened to be black were either told by Trump employees that nothing is available, quoted inflated prices compared to those given to other potential renters, or instructed to turn in any rental application to another location, off-site, nowhere close to the rental properties. Is this the time period in Trump's past that was so great he wants to do it again?
WWJD - What Did Donald Do?
When confronted with all these allegations, as a whole, you'd think Trump - who says he's always been so very interested in 'The Blacks' and their issues - would have fired a bunch of people, created new guidelines of fairness, and instituted improved ways of dealing with anyone coming to rent one of his apartments. But no. “The idea of settling drove me crazy,” he wrote in “The Art of the Deal.” “What we didn’t do was rent to welfare cases, white or black,” Trump wrote in his 1987 autobiography. “I’d rather fight than fold, because as soon as you fold once, you get the reputation of being a folder.” The New York Times reports,
Rather than quietly trying to settle - as another New York developer had done a couple of years earlier - Trump turned the lawsuit into a pr campaign for his brand, entering into a protracted public battle, complete with angry denials, character assassination, charges that the government was trying to force him to rent to "welfare recipients," even filing a $100 million frivolous countersuit accusing the Justice Department of defamation.
The Art of the Deal - 1975
In the end, Trump did not triumph. On June 10, 1975 Donald J. Trump signed an agreement with the DOJ that prohibited the Trump family from “discriminating against any person in the sale or rental of a dwelling," and the Trumps were ordered to “thoroughly acquaint themselves personally on a detailed basis with the Fair Housing Act." The agreement also required the Trumps to place ads informing minorities they had an equal opportunity to seek housing at Trump properties. According to The New York Times, "After settling the case with Trump, and putting in place legal guidelines for Trump real estate holdings to follow, the Justice Department had to sue him again later for non-compliance."
Who Ya Gonna Look to for Help When the Chips Are Down - 1984
Another New Yorker magazine article about Atlantic City told the story of a former Trump Casino worker, Kip Brown, and the way he and other employees of color were treated on the job when “the boss” was around. They report, “Brown used to work in the casinos, at the Showboat, bussing tables, and at Trump’s Castle, stripping and waxing floors. When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor. It was the eighties; I was a teen-ager, but I remember it: they put us all in the back.”
Assuming The Worst - 1989
In 1989, 12 days after five black men were accused of raping a woman in Central Park, Trump took out full page ads in his name in four New York newspapers saying, "Bring Back the Death Penalty," and "Bring Back The Police" - headlines which just threw fuel on the racial tension fire that was raging over the issue. The victim, who had lost three quarters of her blood, and whose body police detectives say had already turned cold when they found her, had been bashed in the head and remembered nothing. The rest of New York, though, was sure of what had happened to her, and who was to blame, and Trump was right there in the front, helping to light the torches and handing out pitchforks.
The men, who some referred to as the Central Park Five, were later fully exonerated. Years after, when it turned out that someone else had committed the crime, and the young men had finally been released from prison, Trump wrote an unapologetic op-ed for the paper in which he called the city’s push for restitution payments to the men “a disgrace.” He made it plain that, to him, their lives, and loss of freedom, were worth nothing.
Clueless - 1990
In a 1990 interview with Bryant Gumbel, Trump said, "A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market," even though all serious studies refuted that statement. Putting the indentured servitude of blacks in America's recent past aside, it has always been harder for an African American in the U.S. to get any job compared to their white counterparts. Sure, Trump was once again flat out wrong, but by speaking so loudly in the common space of political rhetoric, his statement did serve as a kind of shout-out to those who were ignorant about the racial dynamics in the U.S. economy at the time.
Lazy - 1991
According to a 1991 book by John O’Donnell, a former president of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, The Donald disparaged his black casino employees as “lazy” in vividly bigoted terms. “Isn’t it funny. I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day." According to O’Donnell, Trump said of a black employee, "I think the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.” David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker since 1998, puts it this way:
History is replete with joke candidates for high office. Will Rogers ran for President, in 1928, as the standard-bearer of the Anti-Bunk Party, and wrote a book about his experience: “He Chews to Run.” One Yetta Bronstein, an (imaginary) citizen of the Bronx and the creation of a hoax artist named Alan Abel, was on Presidential campaign posters, in 1964 and 1968, promoting fluoridation, sex education, and, oddly, bingo. (“Vote for Yetta and watch things get better.”) At the 1968 Democratic Convention, in Chicago, the Yippies put forward their candidate: Pigasus. And, for a brief time in 2007, Stephen Colbert entered the race, promising “truthiness” for all.
Donald Trump is a joke, too, but of a different sort. His intention is not to inspire laughter or relief; his targets are not the powerful. He doesn’t punch up. He spews forth ugliness everywhere he goes. It would be nice, and maybe wise, simply to ignore him, in the hope that he will, after all these many years, just go away. But he never really does, and the most immediate concern is not that he will win the office he pursues but that he will get in the heads of everyone else.
Yes He Did - 2008
We could post here any of the hundreds of times Trump pretended he thought President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, but you'd have to be living under a rock to have missed them. If you are looking for a continuous thread running amongst Trumpers, it would be the belief that Obama is somehow "other," not from here, and therefore not legitimate. When a black man became President, neonazis and white supremacists lost their collective minds so hard they fall over each other to this day claiming Barack Obama is not even a Christian...but instead...a secret muslim. And it's that shared belief that has been credited with much of Trump's support in the primaries and at the polls.
Some of my Best Friends
But I Have Black Friends - 2016
In between remarks on the dangers of Mexicans and Muslims, Trump managed to offend further by singling out a black man, pointing him out in the crowd, calling him “my African American” as if the fellow’s presence proved Trump was on the right side of the race issue. Trump says he's the only one that can help "them," he is the only one that can make a difference in their daily struggles, give them jobs, and help with housing. Meanwhile, Trump keeps retweeting "White Genocide" twitter account users. Contrastingly, Donna Brazile - former chief of staff to U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) and the first African American to direct a major presidential campaign - says, "Trump’s own words and deeds have made him a singularly unqualified messenger for the African-American community." She also recently quoted Martin Luther King, who said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate."
Judged by The Company You Keep
Racially charged social media posts from Trump campaign employees and associates have already been a repeated source of embarrassment throughout his run. The Associated Press looked into it, and Trump did actually fire one adviser who had used a racial slur to describe Obama's children, and the campaign denounced Donald's own longtime Mar-a-Lago butler for saying he would support dragging Obama from the White House and hanging him. And that's great. But, um, he keeps hiring people like that - people who are top advisers on his campaign.
Allegations have surfaced that Donald's foreign policy adviser, Joseph Schmitz, is a holocaust denier. Other Trump surrogates have "reached out" to many of the more wackier conservative radio talk show hosts - doing interviews with the likes of well-known holocaust denier John Friend while on the trail. Friend makes a living out of being a notorious anti-Semitic Holocaust denier. According to the Anti-Defamation League, The American Free Press owner John Friend is a virulent Jew hater, who blames Jews for 9/11, denies the Holocaust happened, and claims Hitler was "the greatest thing that’s happened to Western civilization." It didn't take extreme vetting to look the guy up, we just used google, but none of that stopped the Trump girls from speaking with him for eighteen minutes on air in March.
Trump even brought onto his campaign team the alt-right darling head of Breitbart News - Steve "Biosphere" Bannon - as the "CEO" of his presidential campaign. While most news sources divide up their stories into categories like SPORTS, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, BUSINESS, and CLASSIFIED, Brietbart uses the tag BLACK CRIME. We could go on and on in detail about all the paid staffers running Trump's campaign who have white supremacy tattoos visible, and point out all the current racist comments many of them make everywhere in social and main stream media circles, but we'd run out of room on our server.
The Associate Press reports that Katie Packer - 2012 Romney deputy campaign manager - said, "The social media posts AP reviewed would have been immediate disqualifiers for anyone who had applied for a campaign job with us [The Romney Campaign] - even if the postings weren't visible to the public. A comfort level with people who think this is OK is indicative of what you think is OK."
Keeping an Eye Out
You've got to get every one of your friends. You've got to get every one of your family. You've got to get everybody to go out and watch, and go out and vote. And when I say 'watch,' you know what I'm talking about. Right? You know what I'm talking about.
I think you've got to go out and you've got to watch.
The Struggle Continues
When Trump tells his supporters to "watch the polls," and then follows up by saying, "and when I say 'watch,' you know what I'm talking about. Right? You know what I'm talking about. I think you've got to go out and you've got to watch," he knows full well that his mostly white audience who imbibe his ideology know what he's talking about. The guy that showed up in a KKK hood and said Trump speaks for him, he knows. David Duke, who has publicly thanked Donald for the increase in membership enrollment in White Supremacy groups, knows what he meant. Even Godwin's called out this guy Donald on his use of Jim Crow tactics. Intimidation at the polls has been illegal since 1982. He isn't just a racist, he waters, cultivates and tends to the needs of the most racist among us - and the conspiracy clutching style of Donald J. Trump shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
President H.W. Bush on the "Insincere Charleton" (Jon Meacham, Contributing Editor, Random House & H.W. Bush, 2016)