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For two years Trump would be required to supply weekly lists of vacancies to the Urban League’s Open Housing Center.When vacancies opened up in buildings where fewer than 10 percent of the tenants were black or Hispanic, the center would then have three days to submit applications from minority clients who wanted those apartments.However the foundation run by Eric Trump includes one African American vice president, Lynn Patton, who is described on the foundation website as “senior assistant” to Donald Trump’s three older adult children.Last year Trump defended himself against complaints about his attitudes by claiming that he’s the “least racist person on earth.” Except for Patton, the Trump team has not presented to the press the name of a single key executive who is either Hispanic or African American.If qualified, they were to get preference by agreeing to advertise vacancies in newspapers that served the black community.Trump was also required to advertise vacancies in press outlets serving minority communities.Rather than work with the government to bring the company into compliance with the law, as the New York apartment king Sam Le Frak had done, Trump retained one of the most notorious lawyers in the country, Roy Cohn, and commence an all-out legal war.
Calling the American-born Gonzalo Curiel a “Mexican,” he said Curiel was therefore biased against him, and he added to the flurry of objections by suggesting that a Muslim judge might also be incapable of hearing a lawsuit involving any Trump entity.
Trump did manage to avoid race-related controversies for more than a decade—between the mid-1990s and 2010.
Then, in 2011, Trump seized upon the conspiracy theory that suggested that Barack Obama was not an American citizen. He also delivered innuendo about the president’s academic record and admission to Columbia University and Harvard Law School, implying that he was academically unworthy but benefitted from affirmative action.
Although he wound up complying with federal regulators on his rental policies, Trump had successfully staked out his position on race.
He was on the side of those whites who resented civil rights laws intended to redress racism. Earlier in that same year Trump helped fan the flames of racial resentment when black and Latino teens were arrested in the infamous “Central Park jogger” attack.