The New Yorker:
Donald Trump grew up in a wealthy white enclave in Queens, and he first came to public attention in 1973, when the Justice Department sued his father’s real-estate company for refusing to rent apartments to people “because of race and color.” (Trump strongly denied the charges, which eventually led to a consent decree.) In the nineteen-eighties, when Trump owned casinos in Atlantic City, some of his managers got the strong impression that he didn’t like black employees. In a 2015 story about the faded resort town, my colleague Nick Paumgarten quoted a former busboy at the Trump Castle, who said, “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor.”
In a 1991 book about his experiences running Trump Plaza, in Atlantic City, “Trumped! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump—His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall,” John R. O’Donnell, a veteran casino executive, recalled a conversation that he had with his boss about an employee in the Plaza’s finance department who happened to be African-American. I cited the passage last fall, after Trump attacked Myeshia Johnson, the widow of a black soldier in the U.S. Special Forces who was killed in Niger, but it is worth reproducing it now. (The quote below begins with Trump speaking about the black employee. The “I” at the start of the second paragraph is O’Donnell.)
“Yeah, I never liked the guy. I don’t think he knows what the fuck he’s doing. My accountants in New York are always complaining about him. He’s not responsive. And it isn’t funny. I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at 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. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else.”
I couldn’t believe I was hearing this. But Donald went on, “Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that 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. . . . Don’t you agree?” He looked at me straight in the eye and waited for my reply.
“Donald, you really shouldn’t say things like that to me or anybody else,” I said. “That is not the kind of image you want to project. We shouldn’t even be having this conversation, even if it’s the way you feel.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” he said. “If anybody ever heard me say that . . . holy shit . . . I’d be in a lot of trouble. But I have to tell you, that’s the way I feel.”
Is there any doubt that Trump still holds these kinds of views? Even before his latest racial slur—it was reported on Thursday that he referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and certain nations in Africa as “shithole countries” during a meeting with lawmakers in the Oval Office—the answer was clear. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Trump described Mexican immigrants as “in many cases criminals, rapists, drug dealers, etc.”; questioned the fitness of a U.S.-born federal judge by referring to him as “Mexican”; mocked the mother of a Pakistani-American war hero; and, for a time, refused to condemn David Duke, the former Klansman.
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