Donald Trump Has Long History of Racist Remarks and Behavior

Donald Trump. Gage Skidmore/

Univision, NBC and Macy’s all parted ways with Donald Trump in June 2015 after he linked undocumented immigrants from Mexico to rape and drugs while announcing his bid for president.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best; they’re not sending you,” Trump told his supporters on June 16, 2015. “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.”

When Univision decided not to air Trump’s Miss America pageant as a result of his xenophobic remarks, he responded by suing the Spanish-language network for $500 million. Boldly unrepentant, the mogul refused to apologize for his comments about Mexicans, blaming the backlash against him on political correctness run amuck. He even doubled down on his characterization of unauthorized immigrants as criminals during a July 1, 2015, interview with CNN’s Don Lemon.

“Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don,” Trump said. “I mean somebody’s doing it. Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?”

Trump’s refusal to back away from his anti-Mexican comments shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with his long history of offensive statements. An undercurrent of racism has run through Trump’s remarks for decades, as evidenced by the quotes and anecdotes below:

Sued For Racial Discrimination

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Donald Trump’s real-estate company, Trump Management Corporation, for racial discrimination in 1973 for allegedly refusing to rent apartments to blacks and lying to them about rental conditions and prices.

“Because he is a complete and utter clown, Trump responded by suing the D.O.J. for defamation, seeking $100 million in damages,” the Village Voice reported. “Trump's lawyer was the infamous Roy Cohn, a.k.a. Joseph McCarthy's chief counsel. Eventually Trump Management settled the case, but failed to improve their policies towards minorities: three years later, the Justice Department again charged the company with discriminating against blacks. It got to the point where the NYC human rights commission was dispatched to find evidence of discrimination in Trump's buildings.”

In addition to this debacle, sample quotes attributed to Trump for a 1991 book by John R. O'Donnell reveal a racist and anti-Semitic streak. The mogul reportedly remarked that "laziness is a trait in blacks" and he doesn’t like blacks to handle his money.

"Black guys counting my money! I hate it,” Trump reportedly said. “The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day."

Refusal to Apologize to Central Park 5

Donald Trump has a history of not apologizing for offensive behavior. In 2002, supporters of the Central Park 5, five black youth wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman in the park 13 years earlier, asked Trump to apologize for running newspaper ads targeting the then teen suspects. Although the ad did not identify anyone by name, it warned “criminals of every age” accused of the crime “to be afraid.” It mentioned how Trump wanted “to hate these muggers and murderers” and stated that “they should be forced to suffer.”

Central Park 5 supporters viewed the ad as a rush to judgment against the group of black boys accused of the rape and expressed concern that it influenced the jury to wrongfully convict them. The quintet was vindicated after convicted rapist Matias Reyes confessed to the crime. DNA evidence backed up Reyes’ confession, but Trump not only refused to apologize to the Central Park 5 in 2002 after this news spread, he slammed the fact that the group won a settlement in 2014 because of their wrongful conviction.

“My opinion on the settlement of the Central Park jogger case is that it’s a disgrace,” Trump stated in the New York Daily News. “A detective close to the case, and who has followed it since 1989, calls it ‘the heist of the century. Settling doesn’t mean innocence, but it indicates incompetence on several levels. This case has not been dormant, and many people have asked why it took so long to settle? It is politics at its lowest and worst form.”

Trump didn’t stop there but continued to malign the character of the Central Park 5, remarking of them, “These young men do not exactly have the pasts of angels.” But given that they were convicted as teens, they never had much of a past. Moreover, one needn’t be an angel to expect the criminal justice system to operate fairly.

Racially Veiled Attack on Obama’s Intelligence

It’s no secret that after Barack Obama became president, Donald Trump surfaced as one of the most prominent birthers—the group of individuals who insist that Obama was born in Kenya.

"I have a birth certificate,” Trump said in 2011. “ People have birth certificates. He [Obama] doesn't have a birth certificate. He may have one but there is something on that birth certificate — maybe religion, maybe it says he's a Muslim, I don't know. Maybe he doesn't want that. Or, he may not have one."

Trump continued to make these comments throughout the year, but he took matters a step farther when he began to demand that Obama hand over his transcripts from Occidental College as well.

“The word is, according to what I’ve read, that he was a terrible student when he went to Occidental,” Trump said. “He then gets to Columbia; he then gets to Harvard. … How do you get into Harvard if you're not a good student? Now, maybe that’s right, or maybe it’s wrong. But I don’t know why he doesn’t release his records.”

The insinuation here is that Obama made his way to the Ivy League by way of affirmative action, that he’s just another undeserving minority who played the system. But where was Trump when George W. Bush was outed as being a C student at Yale University? No movement sprang up to suggest that Dubya didn’t deserve to be in office because he wasn’t smart enough.

Inflammatory Remarks About China

While Trump’s remarks about Mexican immigrants captured most of the news attention when he announced his presidential bid, the mogul’s comments about China during the speech skated perilously close to xenophobia as well.

He’s previously referred to the country as an “enemy” of the United States and during his presidential announcement accused China of taking jobs away from Americans. At his most inflammatory, Trump said that China is “killing us,” “ripping us” and that they pose far more than an economic threat to the U.S.

“They’re building up their military to a point that is very scary,” he said during his presidential announcement. “You have a problem with ISIS. You have a bigger problem with China.”

While China is definitely an economic rival, Trump’s language about the country is arguably the same that propelled two unemployed autoworkers to beat Vincent Chin to death in Michigan in 1982. As such, it’s just as dangerous, if not more, as branding undocumented immigrants rapists and drug lords.