03.03.2016 39

Trump insisted on including Jews and blacks at Palm Beach golf course in 1990s


By Robert Romano

“When Donald opened his club in Palm Beach called Mar-a-Lago, he insisted on accepting Jews and blacks even though other clubs in Palm Beach to this day discriminate against blacks and Jews. The old guard in Palm Beach was outraged that Donald would accept blacks and Jews so that’s the real Donald Trump that I know.”

That was author Ronald Kessler in a July 2015 interview with Newsmax, talking about Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s business practices when it came to building a golf course in the Deep South.

In the 1990s, Trump was running into a problem getting his golf course approved by the local town council in Palm Beach, which was imposing restrictions on his bid.

So Trump shot back with maximum effect. As reported by the Washington Post’s Mary Jordan and Rosalind Helderman on Nov. 14, 2015: “Trump undercut his adversaries with a searing attack, claiming that local officials seemed to accept the established private clubs in town that had excluded Jews and blacks while imposing tough rules on his inclusive one.”

The Washington Post report continues, “Trump’s lawyer sent every member of the town council copies of two classic movies about discrimination: ‘A Gentleman’s Agreement,’ about a journalist who pretends to be Jewish to expose anti-Semitism, and ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ about a white couple’s reaction to their daughter bringing home a black fiancé.”

Sometimes, in judging the character of an individual, it pays to see what people actually do when nobody’s really paying attention. When it came to segregation in the South at private, all-white country clubs, it might have been in Trump’s business interests to simply look the other way. Instead, Trump did the right thing and insisted on desegregation at his golf resort.

And he won.

Soon thereafter, the local restrictions were lifted and, today, the golf course is open and remains inclusive.

It remains a point of pride for Trump, who boasted about the golf resort in a 2015 interview, “Whether they love me or not, everyone agrees the greatest and most important place in Palm Beach is Mar-a-Lago. I took this ultimate place and made it incredible and opened it, essentially, to the people of Palm Beach. The fact that I owned it made it a lot easier to get along with the Palm Beach establishment.”

At the time in 1997, then-Anti-Defamation League President Abraham Foxman praised Trump for elevating the issue of discrimination at private clubs, telling the Wall Street Journal, “He put the light on Palm Beach. Not on the beauty and the glitter, but on its seamier side of discrimination. It has an impact.” Foxman credited Trump’s move with encouraging other clubs in Palm Beach to do the same as Mar-a-Lago in opening up.

That’s the real Donald Trump. The one who dealt with a real problem to do with discrimination on race and religion in Palm Beach long before he was ever seeking public office by confronting a local planning board over its exclusive policies, determined he would do things differently.

So, when the question of David Duke’s endorsement of Trump came up on Friday, Feb. 26 at the Chris Christie endorsement press conference in Texas — the first time it came up — Trump’s first gut reaction was to emphatically disavow it.

“I didn’t even know he endorsed me. David Duke endorsed me? All right, I disavow, OK,” he said at the press conference. And he immediately moved on.

That might have been the end of the story right there, but Trump stumbled when the question came up again Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, where he distanced himself from the Duke endorsement.

“I don’t know anything about David Duke,” Trump said, adding, “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. I know nothing about white supremacists… You’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.”

Probably not altogether the best response. But for his statement a day prior, it might have even raised significant questions otherwise. Still, it was a damaging exchange for Trump and melted the Internet for a few days. Other presidential candidates like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have since included it in their attacks on Trump.

A day later Trump recovered on NBC’s “Today Show” when it came up again, specifically on the Tapper interview, Trump said, “I disavowed David Duke a day before at a major press conference, and I’m saying to myself, how many times do I have to continue to disavow people?” Perhaps he just didn’t want to keep talking about it. Who would?

Trump also claimed his ear piece was not working really well: “I’m sitting in a house in Florida with a very bad ear piece that they gave me and you can hardly hear what he was saying.”

Trump added, “I disavowed David Duke. Now, if you look on Facebook right after that, I also disavowed David Duke. When we looked at it — looked at the question, I disavowed David Duke. So, I disavowed David Duke all weekend long on Facebook, on Twitter and, obviously it’s never enough. Ridiculous.”

It’s a fair point. Trump immediately disavowed David Duke, whose endorsement he didn’t even want in the first place.

Did he ever endorse Duke? No. Did he ever endorse the Ku Klux Klan? No. He did the opposite.

By the time the Tapper interview occurred, it is fair to say Trump was ready to move on. Tapper apparently was not.

Still, compare Trump’s statements — and his business record in Palm Beach as a prime example — to what is being said about Trump right now. “Donald Trump stumbles on David Duke, KKK,” reads the CNN headline. “Trump disavows David Duke endorsement after ducking question earlier,” reads another. It’s night and day. You’d think he had donned a white sheet and was burning crosses.

Incidentally, a similar thing famously happened in 1984 to Ronald Reagan when the Ku Klux Klan endorsed him. The difference is Reagan squished it once and for all. Reagan said at the time, “Those of us in public life can only resent the use of our names by those who seek political recognition for the repugnant doctrines of hate they espouse.”

Was Trump as eloquent in his denunciation? Not by a long shot. But, so what? At the time, despite Reagan spurning the endorsement, there was a similar media uproar. And at the end of the day, it meant nothing and had exactly zero impact on the election. Because it was silly. Similarly, Trump went on to have a great Super Tuesday despite the hullabaloo, winning 7 out of 11 contests.

All that happened here was an ugly chapter of American history that includes white supremacy once again reared its head into U.S. politics — and was aimed viciously at Republicans even with the GOP’s clear record against slavery and segregation. The response both from mainstream media outlets and the punditry has become a predictable din and a meme unto itself of typical race card politics that attempts to portray Republicans as racists.

And it is all patently absurd.

So, move on. Based on the Palm Beach experience, Trump, unlike many others who never had to confront segregation, actually has a solid record on this issue. The attacks are unfair. And he didn’t refuse to denounce anybody, in spite of what was reported. He immediately and rightly disavowed the Duke endorsement, but as Trump noted, it’s never enough.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

  • pduffy

    When the MSM attacked Trump and tried to tie him to the KKK, that was the last straw. It was not only unfair, it was demonic. I am pulling the lever for Trump.

  • jwatersphd

    Well, of course it’s never enough, because these problems are all of his own making, and he’s been working long and hard on making them. What it’s about is his wanting to have it both ways. And, frankly, there is no sign that it even bothers him – he’s playing to a crowd that simply does not think. He has been courting racists and bigots since this presidential run began – really, that’s undeniable. This whole “politically correct” routine, and reversing the meaning of the term “race card” is part of the doublespeak. Politically correct means it’s fine to insult and denigrate someone, especially those who have no power in the first place. Then when the hot-button and red meat crowd is satisfied he’s just like them because he talks about banning 1/5 of the world from visiting the US, he talks to people who actually aren’t racists and bigots and tries to satisfy them. He hooks in the low life viscerally and they’ve heard the code words – the evangelicals even think he’s a true christian, one of “them”! (Born again, born yesterday.) Then he can convince people with a trace of sense that he’s really a good guy. Who knows what he actually believes – that most of the people who come from Mexico are drug abusers, rapists, and criminals (or whatever he said), or he loves all Mexicans, never met one he didn’t like? Now he’s even got you in the clean up crew – sure, ethical guy, etc.

    This is what we call making a virtue of necessity. It looks like it will be hard to deny him the nomination, so let’s get busy papering over the gore.

    His redeeming virtues are that he’s already expressed concerns about global warming, thinks Planned Parenthood provides vital services, wants single payer health care (or once did; maybe all that’s “the old trump”, not the “new”)… and you “conservatives” now have this in your laps. What I wonder is whatever became of the weird praise that W used to get, which is that “you may not like what he says, but you know he’ll never change”?

    Maybe you like having an impulsive, irresponsible bully in charge of the country, but I don’t. If he gets in, you’ll see how much he cares for “limited government,” piety and all the other right wing fetishes.

  • jwatersphd

    I see you’ve found your man without corruption . . . now that wasn’t so hard! I think we all need to loosen up a little. I think you’ve said none of it makes much difference any way – no?

  • pduffy

    J. I am not voting for Trump because he is not corrupt. He in quite corrupt. My vote is a protest against the left-wing attacks, from both the RINOs and the liberals. It’s a fun vote to cast, not because it’s going to change anything.

  • Angie Dimos Gonzalez

    Oh thank goodness he doesn’t discriminate, you just have to have a couple hundred grand up front to even talk about membership to his non-exclusive club.

  • jwatersphd

    yes, that makes sense, as usual. in a way, he is “fun,” kind of like . . . well, I don’t really know.

  • jwatersphd

    Or he might just “like” you, for reasons known only to him.

  • JBoliverKegzazz

    That’s a discouragement to Democrats and liberals. Works for me.

  • Jacob45

    Do you think ANYONE actually reads all your crap. Fat chance. Blah…blah…blah.

  • Jacob45

    Yes, you really don’t know doodly squat.

  • jwatersphd

    Making any substantive points, or just practicing your insults?

  • Jacob45

    I believe I did, in both post concerning you. A few well chosen words are usually more effective than a page of personal opinion.

  • jwatersphd

    Wow! Guess I missed it. Very clear, we can see right through it, like the Emperor’s new clothes. You must be a Trump man.

  • Jacob45

    You miss a lot of reality…oh and there is no we in you.

  • jwatersphd

    Well, no, you wouldn’t be welcome. Enjoy your paranoid fantasies. Bring your tin hat. I try to view your reality from a safe distance. But I’m used to the bullying.

  • NothingMan00

    You have a severe case of Trump derangement syndrome, and an inability to think beyond what your TV tells you is making it significantly worse.

  • jwatersphd

    You’re pretty sure he’s going to be just fine, then? I don’t watch TV, anyhow. What’s your point? Or are you just here to be derisive? That wouldn’t be a surprise, if you’re a Trump ManOO.

  • Dthh Isard

    @jwatersphd You sound like a passive aggressive bully, that much is true, even if nothing else you type is.

    You probably justify that nastiness with a victim complex, but it would be better to just get along. Peace of Allah be with you.

  • Occupational Therapist Thomas

    Proof Trump has always been based.

    Take THAT, liberal fascists.


  • jwatersphd

    Passive !!! ?? That’s a low blow. Getting along with Jacob45? Peace of Allah? Never met the guy, wouldn’t know him if I did . . . where’d you meet him and why do you recommend?

  • Deus, waifu is pic related

    It’s a club for successful people, jobless retards like you wouldn’t get in anyway.

  • Karen Bracken

    And David Duke later said he never endorsed Trump. just another lie that hoped would catch on but failed.

  • NothingMan00

    Thanks for confirming the diagnosis.

  • jwatersphd

    I haven’t even given you a diagnosis, let alone confirmed it. You haven’t said anything so even an ad hominem argument would be a waste of time.

  • NothingMan00

    further confirmation…

  • Getaclue

    Thank you Trump, from a grateful Jewish gal that supports you!

  • Len Mullen

    It’s not that Trump doesn’t discriminate. It’s that the lame stream media KNOWS and has KNOWN for decades that he does not discriminate but publishes articles claiming he is a bigot.

  • info warrior

    So, if Trump used to be a liberal, what happened?

  • Steve Grim

    Played this hole with the founder of the Commodores Tommy McLaren for a PAL Charity event the Donald an they had in Palm Beach

  • TonysTake

    This is a story nobody will hear about unless we tell it. Twitter, Facebook, etc.

  • TonysTake

    Haters still doing what they do best. They hate. I’m voting for TRUMP.

  • frankenbiker

    Going with Trump in November. I think he could easily beat the pantsuit off the hildebitch.
    i like Cruz, but he’ll have a very hard time getting anything done, just because of the animosity towards him in the house and senate.
    Normally I’d vote for him because of that, but we need a man that will not only stand up to the establishment, but one that can also manipulate them to his and OUR will.

  • Lisa Chantel Hill Wade

    He said that the party moved too far to the left and his views and the Democratic views no longer aligned. Since JFK was President the party has moved farther and farther to the left. If you go back an listen to Kennedy he doesn’t sound like the Democrats of today.

  • Michael00001111

    If you were around then or listen to JFK speeches he would be quite far to the right of center of today’s views.

    John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

    “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You”

    We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom— symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning — signifying renewal, aswell as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.


  • Lisa Chantel Hill Wade

    I read the whole speech. I think we are agreeing on the views of Kennedy. I’ve seen memes posted by occupy democrats that were actually Republican posters and not Democrat posters. They were from the 1950s. Diversity is a relative new term for the Democrats. LBJ was a raging racist but still signed the voting rights act of 1965. That says a lot about him as a president. Kennedy hated LBJ but knew he could not win an election without him. It was a Republican (although Occupy Democrats try to take credit) who integrated schools (Brown vs The Board of Education). My grandfather was a born Democrat but when he saw Eisenhower make the announcement he said it was about time. He would be considered a conservative by today’s standards.

  • lvlady

    I shared it on facebook to many groups Yay me lol

  • lvlady

    Yeah this really needs to circulate on facebook! I sent it out to many groups

  • Skeptic At Heart

    Thanks!!!!! The natives are getting restless and afraid they will lose control of our “democracy”. And the Bernie folks are brainwashed tools who think everything can be free like Europe, including suicide bombings all around apparently.

  • Roger

    Why are Jews hated by these clubs? I’ve never had any problems with them.

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