The REAL Questions for Trump

Part Two: His Long-Standing Record of Discrimination in Rental Housing.
(Yesterday – Part One: Trump University)

In my August 27, 2013 post “donald trump exposed – Again”, I briefly described the federal complaints filed back in the 1970s against donald trump’s real estate companies, wherein the US Department of Justice alleged widespread discrimination based on race throughout his residential rental practices. Solon.com and the New York Times have written about these complaints and the facts upon which they were based, but in light of

trump’s continued recitations of extreme racism - both in his leadership in the “birther” movement and in his more recent diatribes alleging that the Mexican government sends rapists and murderers to the US - these issues need to be brought front and center by reporters covering the presidential election campaign.

The government’s formal allegations first came in 1973, with the Dept. of Justice filing a racial discrimination lawsuit against trump companies, alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act. The New York Times reported the basis

of the claims as follows:

“… the Government contended that Trump Management had refused to rent or negotiate rentals ‘because of race and color’. It also charged that the company had required different rental terms and conditions because of race and that it had misrepresented to blacks that apartments were not available.”

The Times reported in its Oct. 16, 1973 edition that trump’s management corporations owned 14,000 New York City apartments and that in 39 separate apartment buildings in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Queens, Fair Housing Act violations were rampant. Citing facts that established that trump’s companies had refused to rent to prospective tenants due to their race, the government suit sought an injunction prohibiting the continuation of such acts. Of considerable interest is the fact that donald trump was also named as an individual defendant in the lawsuit, against whom equitable and monetary relief was sought.

Trump took to the stage with his usual rhetoric about how the allegations were baseless and that it would be proven so in court, and he hired one of the most flamboyant and outspoken attorneys then on the scene, the notorious Roy Cohn of McCarthyism fame. Trump was in his best form in publicly addressing the issue, telling the federal government and the City of New York that if he had to rent to “welfare recipients” that there would then be a “massive fleeing from the city of not only our tenants, but communities as a whole.” (“Donald Trump’s racial discrimination problem“)

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On behalf of trump, Cohn countersued the government for filing “baseless charges”, but that was quickly dismissed, with the judge actually calling the claim “a waste of time and paper”.

Despite the rhetoric and all-out assault against the government, trump ended up settling the case, under an agreement to engage in no discriminatory practices going forward. On June 11, 1975, the
Times reported the settlement trump reached with the Dept. of Justice. As part of the settlement, trump agreed to “not discriminate against blacks, Puerto Ricans, or other minorities”. The Justice Department made a significant point of the fact that the agreement required trump rental businesses to turn over to the New York Urban League on a WEEKLY BASIS a list of all vacancies in all trump buildings and give the League’s Open Housing Center three days in which to provide qualified applicants for every fifth vacancy in trump buildings where at the time black occupancy was less than 10% of the apartments.

The agreement trump reached with the government to settle the Housing Act violations did not, however, last long, as in 1978 the Justice Department filed new charges, alleging that trump and his cohorts had failed to follow the terms of the earlier settlement. At that time, the Times reported that trump’s rental companies had

“discriminated against blacks in the terms and conditions of rental, made statements indicating discrimination based on race and told blacks that apartments were not available for inspection and rental when, in fact, they are”. (“Donald Trump’s racial discrimination problem“)

Unfortunately, no record appears to be available as to the outcome of those supplemental allegations.

One final item in trump’s ongoing racist mindset needs to be described. A few years ago when he had made a major investment in Atlantic City casinos, he viewed the local St. Regis Mohawk tribe
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and their casino endeavors as serious competition, and in an effort to block their casino development, he financed a series of clearly racist ads through a third party advertising entity, something called the New York Institute for Law and Society. On October 6, 2000, the Times reported that trump had agreed to pay the largest fine ever imposed by the New York State Commission on Lobbying, the sum of $250,000, for trump’s breach of lobbying regulations in placing those ads. At the time, after his racially-motivated invectives had been dealt with as best they could, the Times quoted trump as saying “We’re happy it all worked out nicely.” (“Trump and Others Accept Fines For Ads in Opposition to Casinos“)

Members of the press: Please start asking trump the REAL questions!

About theHoundDawg

For many years as a lawyer, I saw much of the good and bad of society, and did what I could to right many wrongs. The lack of understanding of what is good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, as evidenced by such events as the election of King W as president, (who as such far surpassed the evil of richard nixon but not quite that of ronald reagan) lead me in a new direction, to spend my time trying to understand what is happening to our society, to try as best I can to spread my insights to others, and along the way to maybe even eke out a living through the internet.
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