When he was getting his start in business, he was sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black and Latino tenants. Their applications would be marked with a ‘C’ – ‘C’ for ‘colored’ – and then rejected. Three years later, the Justice Department took Trump back to court because he hadn’t changed.This subject has been gone over repeatedly over the years, but one little explored question about this old story however is: Who exactly were these white racist tenants who were renting in Trump properties in Coney, Island, Brighton Beach, and Forest Hills but who would have white-flighted out to Long Island if too many blacks had flooded in to the Trump buildings? The young Jared Taylor? The unborn Richard Spencer? Haven Monahan’s grandpa?
To help the NYT in its investigations into the festering heart of the roots of racism in Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and Forest Hills, I’ve found this home movie of David Duke’s upbringing under the Coney Island roller coaster:
Seriously, I explained the answer in passing in Taki’s Magazine a year ago in answer to a Washington Post article taking the opposite tack from the latest round of attacks. Last year’s article denounced Donald for not being like his dad Fred who built for the white middle class. I responded:
The evolution of the Trump brand name in housing over the past two generations strikingly illuminates how race has played a role in American life becoming so much more biased in favor of billionaires.[Comment at Unz.com]
A recent Washington Post article is headlined “How Donald Trump abandoned his father’s middle-class housing empire for luxury building.” The Post celebrates Fred C. Trump (1905–99) as one of the biggest builders of affordable apartments in the outer boroughs.
But it forgets to mention that Frederick Christ Trump would have been one of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ demons, since he typically built with the help of the Veterans Administration and other government agencies in redlined neighborhoods, such as the 3,800-unit Trump Village in heavily Jewish Coney Island. (Fred sometimes asserted his parents were from Sweden to sidestep his tenants’ prejudices against German-Americans.)
Fred Trump’s company was rewarded for all its contributions to middle-class America by being sued by the Nixon administration in 1973 for violating the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Only 4 percent of its tenants—in places like Forest Hills in Queens and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn—were black. The young Donald fired back, hiring Roy Cohn and arguing that allowing welfare recipients to rent in his father’s complexes would risk “massive fleeing from the city of not only our tenants, but communities as a whole.” Eventually, Donald signed one of those consent decrees with the feds, not admitting to doing anything but promising never to do it again.
Perhaps that episode played a role in the son’s determination to get out of his father’s business of building affordable housing in the outer boroughs, with its constant danger that antidiscrimination laws would trigger white flight to the suburbs among their largely middle-class Jewish customers, and instead follow the new generation of nouveaux riches New Yorkers to Manhattan. In 1983 Donald proved that New York’s 1970s economic malaise was definitely over by opening on Fifth Avenue the gaudy Trump Tower, which has since been home to numerous celebrities such as Jay Z and Beyoncé.As the saying goes, “Our prices discriminate, so we don’t have to.”