Sunday, August 28, 2016

Trump: “My legacy has its roots in my father’s legacy”

That legacy is one of racial discrimination, the NY Times reports in ‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, and Was First Accused of Bias. Here are snippets.

... an investigation by The New York Times — drawing on decades-old files from the New York City Commission on Human Rights, internal Justice Department records, court documents and interviews with tenants, civil rights activists and prosecutors — uncovered a long history of racial bias at his family’s properties, in New York and beyond.

That history has taken on fresh relevance with Mr. Trump arguing that black voters should support him over Hillary Clinton, whom he has called a bigot.

Racial discrimination is but one black mark on that legacy.

In 1966, as the investigative journalist Wayne Barrett detailed in “Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth,” a New York legislative committee accused Fred Trump of using state money earmarked for middle-income housing to build a shopping center instead. One lawmaker called Mr. Trump “greedy and grasping.”

By this point, the Trump organization’s business practices were beginning to come under scrutiny from civil rights groups that had received complaints from prospective African-American tenants.

Complaints about the Trump organization’s rental policies continued to mount: By 1967, state investigators found that out of some 3,700 apartments in Trump Village, seven were occupied by African-American families.

Donald Trump said he had first heard about the lawsuit, which was filed in the fall of 1973, on his car radio.

The government had charged him, his father and their company, Trump Management Inc., with violating the Fair Housing Act.

Donald Trump ... retained Senator Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting counsel, Roy Cohn, to defend him. Mr. Trump soon called his own news conference — to announce his countersuit against the government.

... After nearly two years of legal wrangling, the Trumps gave up and signed a consent decree.

As is customary, it did not include an admission of guilt. But it did include pages of stipulations intended to ensure the desegregation of Trump properties.

Also as is now customary in his unique universe, Trump declared victory.

“In the end the government couldn’t prove its case, and we ended up making a minor settlement without admitting any guilt,” he wrote in “The Art of the Deal.”

Only this was not quite the end.

A few years later, the government accused the Trumps of violating the consent decree. “We believe that an underlying pattern of discrimination continues to exist in the Trump Management organization,” a Justice Department lawyer wrote to Mr. Cohn in 1978.

Once again, the government marshaled numerous examples of blacks being denied Trump apartments. But this time, it also identified a pattern of racial steering.

But in the end, Trump hung in and dodged another governmental action.

The Trumps effectively wore the government down. The original consent decree expired before the Justice Department had accumulated enough evidence to press its new case.

This is the guy who wants to preside over that same government. To do what, exactly? To further enrich himself?

Reminds me of how Trump dealt with the small business contractors for his casinos. They ended up settling for pennies on the dollars owed because Trump just wore them down.

And that's The Art of the Steal.

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