A new ad released by the Hillary Clinton campaign features an interview with a woman named Mae Wiggins who was denied housing by Trump Realty based on her race. Wiggins' case led to full disclosure of the family's racist housing practices.
"My name is Mae Wiggins. I was denied an apartment in the Trump buildings based on the color of my skin." pic.twitter.com/ds8NkkV0T2— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 25, 2016
To be fully awake to Donald Trump's history and accept his presence on the international stage is to overlook sex scandals, bigotry, egotism, and pettiness. Exposure of the Mae Wiggins case mere weeks before the presidential election should be enough to fully topple Trump's fragile facade of legitimacy.
Mae Wiggins, a former nurse, states simply, "I was denied an apartment in the Trump buildings based on the color of my skin." For those inclined to doubt Wiggins' claim, there are four decades of court cases and insider knowledge to back her up.
Wiggins reported to the New York Times that when she and her friend, Maxine Brown applied to a Trump rental building in 1963, they were young, "professional people" with "good credit." Donald was only a teenager at the time, but spent his days, according to the Times, "touring construction sites in his father’s Cadillac, driven by a black chauffeur." His father Fred Trump's discriminatory rental practices were already well-established.
"He says, 'Take the application and put it in a drawer,'" Stanley Liebowitz, a Trump rental agent says of Donald's late father's response to Brown's application. Superintendent Thomas Miranda confirmed that Trump Realty employees were also told to put a letter 'C' on the applications of black people— 'C' for "colored."
In the video ad, Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine explains that Wiggins approached the New York Human Rights Commission who were able to confirm that the women were denied housing based solely on the color of their skin.
"They sent a caucasian couple out and they were told that there was a vacancy," Wiggins recounts of the experience. "I felt very, very angry," she admits, wiping away tears and choking on her words. "So much so that it still evokes anger and hurt, deep, deep hurt."
According to the New Century Times, after the complaint was filed, the Trump agent, a man named Irving Wolper, suddenly offered Maxine Brown an apartment. However, the white woman who had pretended to be apartment-hunting in the operation reported that Wolper had called her a "n*****-lover" and "traitor to the race." This is the same Wolper Donald Trump calls a "fabulous man" in his book, The Art of The Deal.
A state investigation in 1967 discovered that of the 3,700 occupied Trump Village apartments, only seven were rented to black families.
The discrimination continued for years, Politifact confirms. In 1972, a black man inquiring about 2-bedroom apartments in one of Trump's Brooklyn complexes was told there was nothing available. When the man's white wife inquired the following day, the same superintendent immediately handed her an application.
In 1973, 27-year-old Donald Trump became president of Trump Realty and the federal government sued Trump, his father and the company itself for violating the Fair Housing Act with their discriminatory practices.
Trump denied the claims to The New York Times, saying the case was "absolutely ridiculous." Trump tried to sue the government for damages but their counter suit was quickly rejected and after a legal battle spanning two years, Trump agreed to settle.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, former chair of the NYC Human Rights Commission who was interviewed for the Clinton ad said such a settlement is "functionally the same as being found guilty of discrimination except you don't have to admit discrimination."
When the suit was brought up in debate in Sept 2016, Trump deflected responsibility, claiming "That was a lawsuit brought against many real estate firms, and it’s just one of those things." This is completely untrue. The case was leveled directly against the Trumps and Trump Realty; nobody else.
The emotional ad from the Clinton campaign is sure to tug at the heart-strings of many Americans as the elections approach. The fact that Trump blatantly lied to deflect responsibility for his discriminatory practices as recently as a month ago should worry voters who value Trump's supposed "business acumen" and "honesty." It's stories like Mae Wiggins' that make Donald Trump a completely illegitimate political figure much less figurehead for the United States of America.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts