Aug 26, 2017 - Politics & Policy
Facts Matter

Trump’s history of racial controversies

Andrew Harnik, U.S. District Court, Gerald Herbert, Carolyn Kaster / AP

President Trump has stuck to blaming "both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville after a counter-protester was killed, allegedly by a white supremacist. That won him praise from former KKK leader David Duke, and criticism from others for not harshly condemning racism.

Why it matters:

This isn't the first time Trump (or his family) has faced criticism for comments or actions related to minority-groups.

The Facts:

  1. October, 1973: The Justice Department sues the Trump Management Corporation for racial discrimination, claiming that it refused to sell apartments to African Americans. The case ended in a settlement two years later.
  2. April, 1989: Donald Trump calls for the death penalty for five teenagers, four black and one Hispanic, who were accused — and later wrongfully convicted — of raping a white woman in Central Park. It was a hugely controversial case, which ended up highlighting racial discrimination and injustice in law enforcement.
  3. May, 1991: John O'Donnell publishes a book claiming Trump once said, "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."
  4. October, 1992 The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino is fined by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission due to managers removing African-American card dealers when a big-spending gambler asked them to.
  5. October, 1993: While speaking to the House subcommittee on Native American Affairs during a probe into organized crime in Native American casinos, Trump says, "They don't look like Indians to me... They don't look like Indians to Indians."
  6. April, 2011: Donald Trump tells Fox News that he has major doubts whether President Obama was born in the U.S., "He's [Obama] spent millions of dollars trying to get away from this issue. Millions of dollars in legal fees trying to get away from this issue. And I'll tell you what, I brought it up, just routinely, and all of a sudden a lot facts are emerging and I'm starting to wonder myself whether or not he was born in this country."
  7. April, 2011: Donald Trump says on the radio, "I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks."
  8. August, 2012: Trump tweets, "An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud."
  9. June, 2015: Shortly after announcing his candidacy, Trump says, "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you.They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
  10. February, 2016: Presidential candidate Trump refuses to directly denounce an endorsement from David Duke, a former KKK leader. Trump claimed he knew "nothing about David Duke," contradicting years of his own statements.
  11. May, 2016: Trump tweets a photo of himself eating a taco bowl saying, "Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!"
  12. May, 2016: Trump questions a federal judge's neutrality in the Trump University lawsuit, adding that, "What happens is the judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that's fine."
  13. June, 2016: Trump tweets, "Mitt Romney had his chance to beat a failed president but he choked like a dog. Now he calls me racist-but I am least racist person there is"
  14. June, 2016: Trump tweets a photo of Hillary Clinton featuring a dollar bill covered background and a red, 6-pointed star with the words, "Most corrupt candidate ever." The meme was traced back to an anti-Semitic, white supremacist message board.
  15. June, 2016: In California, Trump points to a supporter in the crowd, saying, ""look at my African American over here."
  16. July, 2016: Khizr Khan, a Muslim-American whose son was killed in Iraq, speaks at the DNC. Trump suggests to ABC that his wife, Ghazala Khan, was not allowed to speak: "If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably — maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me."
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