Trump’s Racist Housing Tweet is Par for His Family

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tags: discrimination, housing, Fair Housing Act, Donald Trump, real estate

Donald Trump and his father defended their family’s real estate empire from housing discrimination claims in the 1970s. The Post reported in 2016:

In October 1973, the Justice Department filed a civil rights case that accused the Trump firm, whose complexes contained 14,000 apartments, of violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

The case, one of the biggest federal housing discrimination suits to be brought during that time, put a spotlight on the family empire led by its 27-year-old president, Donald Trump, and his father, Fred Trump, the chairman, who had begun building houses and apartments in the 1930s. . . .

Many whites were relocating to the suburbs, and minorities often moved in to rent or buy properties. Concern about the issue peaked following race riots that broke out across the country after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Amid growing evidence that landlords were refusing to rent to minorities, Congress acted one week after the King assassination by passing the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which banned such discrimination.

As is the case in many housing discrimination lawsuits, “White testers were encouraged to rent at certain Trump buildings, while the black testers were discouraged, denied or steered to apartment complexes that had more racial minorities, according to the testimony.” Trump’s defense was that he did not want to rent to people on welfare, “black or white.” The suit, eventually resolved by a settlement, may have taught Trump the wrong lesson — and fixed an antiquated view of the suburbs in his mind.

Fast forward to Trump’s floundering presidential reelection campaign. The Post reported: “The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule, promulgated by the Obama administration in 2015, sought to strengthen [anti-discrimination laws] by requiring local governments receiving federal money to draft plans to desegregate their communities.” Knowing Trump’s background, it was little surprise that “Trump moved last week to repeal that rule, with language that appeared to hark back to an era of Whites distancing themselves from Black Americans.”