Donald Trump, the man who regularly boasts about “never settling” lawsuits settled a 1973 suit brought by the Justice Department for racial discrimination at Trump properties. The suit was the result of undercover “testers” sent from organizations such as the Urban League to uncover housing discrimination. In one instance, a black woman seeking to rent in a Brooklyn complex was told nothing was available. Later, a white woman seeking similar accommodations was given her choice of two available units.
Such discrimination wasn’t accidental or the result of individual employees personal biases. Federal investigators found that Trump employees marked the applications of prospective minority tenants with racial codes–such as “No. 9” or “C” for “colored” applicants. Apparently Mr. Trump preferred to rent his properties to “Jews and Executives,” according to two former Trump employees.
“Donald Trump’s company embraced discriminatory practices while he was in the boardroom and his present rhetoric shows he wants to take the same attitude to the Oval Office,” said American Bridge 21st Century President Jessica Mackler.
Donald Trump’s explanation for these clear violations of the Fair Housing Act of 1969 is remarkably simple: he didn’t know what it was. Trump readily admitted that his company had done nothing to implement its provisions.
Trump later failed to disclose this case to New Jersey casino regulators when applying for his licenses; disclosure could have put his approval in jeopardy. The saga continued as Trump found himself back in court after being found in contempt of the consent decree which resulted from his settlement with the Justice Department.
1972: Undercover Testers Found Trump’s Real Estate Company Refused To Rent To Black People
Undercover Testers For A Government Investigation Found That Donald Trump’s Real Estate Company Denied Apartments Were Available To A Black Investigator And Offered Two On The Same Day To A White Investigator. According to Washington Post, “When a black woman asked to rent an apartment in a Brooklyn complex managed by Donald Trump’s real estate company, she said she was told that nothing was available. A short time later, a white woman who made the same request was invited to choose between two available apartments. The two would-be renters on that July 1972 day were actually undercover ‘testers’ for a government-sanctioned investigation to determine whether Trump Management Inc. discriminated against minorities seeking housing at properties across Brooklyn and Queens.” [Washington Post, 1/23/16]
Washington Post: During July 1972 Urban League Test At Shorehaven Apartments, “The Same Superintendent Who Had Rejected The Black Woman Told The White Woman Who Came Later That She Could ‘Immediately Rent Either One Of Two Available Apartments.’” According to Washington Post, “Organizations such as the Urban League began to send testers to Trump properties. In the July 1972 test at Shorehaven Apartments in Brooklyn, the same superintendent who had rejected the black woman told the white woman who came later that she could ‘immediately rent either one of two available apartments,’ according to testimony.” [Washington Post, 1/23/16]
Some Trump Apartments Had Between Zero And One Percent Black Tenants
Washington Post: “Only 1 Percent Of Tenants At The Trump-Run Ocean Terrace Apartments Were Black, And That There Were No Black Tenants At Lincoln Shore Apartments.” According to Washington Post, “Other rental agents employed by the Trumps told the FBI that only 1 percent of tenants at the Trump-run Ocean Terrace Apartments were black, and that there were no black tenants at Lincoln Shore Apartments. Both were on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. However, minorities were steered to a different complex on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, Patio Gardens, which was 40 percent black, the government said. One black woman, for example, was turned away at a heavily white complex but told that she should ‘try to obtain an apartment at Patio Gardens,’ where ‘a black judge had recently become a tenant,’ according to government filings.” [Washington Post, 1/23/16]
Trump Employees Marked Applications Of Minority Prospective Renters With Special Codes Like “C” For “Colored”
Trump Employees Marked Applications Of Minorities With Codes And Allegedly Directed Blacks And Puerto Ricans Away From Buildings With Mostly White Tenants. According to Washington Post, “Federal investigators also gathered evidence. Trump employees had secretly marked the applications of minorities with codes, such as ‘No. 9’ and ‘C’ for ‘colored,’ according to government interview accounts filed in federal court. The employees allegedly directed blacks and Puerto Ricans away from buildings with mostly white tenants, and steered them toward properties that had many minorities, the government filings alleged.” [Washington Post, 1/23/16]
Trump Employees Who Rented Properties Testified That They Were Told Trump’s Company Only Wanted To Rent To “Jews And Executives,” “Discouraged Rental To Blacks.” According to Washington Post, “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 rental 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.’ ‘” [Washington Post, 1/23/16]
1973: Justice Department Sued Trump, Father For Racial Discrimination
1973: Justice Department Sued Donald Trump, His Father For Refusing To Rent To African Americans. In his book TrumpNation, Timothy L. O’Brien wrote, “Cohn did more for Donald than make introductions. The Justice Department sued Donald and his father in 1973, charging the builders with racial discrimination for refusing to rent to African Americans.” [TrumpNation, 1/1/05]
- Washington Post: “As Company President, Donald Trump Took An Interest In All Levels Of The Business.” According to Washington Post, “As company president, Donald Trump took an interest in all levels of the business, according to his own accounts. He often helped his father with management chores, including collecting rent, sometimes from unruly tenants.” [Washington Post, 1/23/16]
Justice Department Lawyer Against Trump, 2016: Government “Had The [Racial] Coding, They Had The Testers, And Had The Testimony Of People Who Worked There.” According to Washington Post, “Goldweber, the Justice lawyer who originally argued the case, said it was a clear government victory. The government ‘had the [racial] coding, they had the testers, and had the testimony of people who worked there,’ said Goldweber, now a private practice lawyer in New York. ‘It was an important, significant step for enforcement of the Fair Housing Act. It was a big deal.’” [Washington Post, 1/23/16]
1974: Trump Claimed Ignorance Of Fair Housing Act
March 1974: Trump Testified That He Did Not Know What The Fair Housing Act Of 1969 Was And That His Company Had Done Nothing To Implement It. According to Trump: The Deals And The Downfall, ‘Donald’s deposition in the case in March of 1974 caught the essence of his social conscience. He didn’t know what the Fair Housing Act of 1969 was and freely admitted that the company had done nothing to implement it.’ [Trump: The Deals And The Downfall,12/1/91]
1975: Trump Settled With Justice Department
Donald Trump Signed Settlement Agreeing To Directly Solicit African-American Tenants. In his book TrumpNation, Timothy L. O’Brien wrote, “No shrinking violets they, Cohn and Donald countersued for $100 million, saying the government was trying to force the Trumps to rent to financially risky tenants. A judge quickly dismissed the counter-suit, and two years later Donald signed a settlement in which the Trumps agreed to directly solicit African Americans tenants.” [TrumpNation, 1/1/05]
Real Deal: In Settlement, Trump “Promised To Adhere To A Set Of Anti-Discriminatory Procedures And To Provide The Urban League, The Civil Rights Organization, With Lists Of Rental Vacancies On A Regular Basis.”According to The Real Deal, “As part of the agreement, Trump Management promised to adhere to a set of anti-discriminatory procedures and to provide the Urban League, the civil rights organization, with lists of rental vacancies on a regular basis. But Trump later touted the settlement as a win.” [Real Deal, 4/1/16]
1978: Trump Found In Contempt Of Consent Decree, Brought Back To Court
The Justice Department Found Trumps On Contempt Of Consent Decree, Brought Them Back To Court. According to Trump: The Deals And The Downfall, ‘In any event, four years later, in the summer of 1978, the Justice Department found the Trumps in contempt of the decree and called them back into court. Cohn picked up his argument where he’d left off, branding the new case a ‘rehash’ without ‘the slightest merit,’ attributable to ‘planted malcontents .’ It all remained irrelevant to Donald. The bottom line was that two government discrimination lawsuits had had no effect on the company’s ability to make development deals, usually with the government’s help. The charges were just not a part of the world in which he operated.’ [Trump: The Deals And The Downfall, 12/1/91]
Trump Hid His Racial Discrimination Probe From Casino Regulators
Trump Failed To Inform Casino Regulators About 1970s Federal Racial Discrimination Probe Into Trump Organization, Which Would Have Put His License In Jeopardy. In his book TrumpNation, Timothy L. O’Brien wrote, ‘According to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett, an early and dogged Trump biographer, Donald considered funneling campaign contributions to Mathews through Shapiro—which Donald disputed in an interview with me. New Jersey law enforcement officials later investigated Barrett’s assertions, including that Donald failed to inform casino regulators about the federal racial discrimination probe of the Trump Organization in the 1970s—an omission that would have put his casino license in jeopardy.‘ [TrumpNation, 1/1/05]