The Trump Files: Donald Trump Once Went on Television and Said He Would Have Done Better as a Black Man

“I would love to be a well-educated black.”

In this March 24, 2006 photo, Donald Trump speaks to Randal Pinkett, the winner of the fourth season of Trump's reality television show "The Apprentice." During his tenure at Trump Entertainment Resorts, Pinkett noticed the absence of minority executives in the organization.<a href="">Stuart Ramson</a>/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

In 1989, Donald Trump took out full-page ads in New York City newspapers demanding the reinstatement of the death penalty. The ads were purchased shortly after the arrest of five teens—four African Americans and one Hispanic—for the brutal rape of a female jogger in Central Park, and they were widely seen as a call for the execution of these youths. (At the subsequent trial, the teens were found guilty and sentenced to prison terms, but more than a decade later, it turned out they had been falsely accused and convicted—a serial rapist confessed to the crime and DNA evidence supported his account—and their convictions were vacated.)

Several months after jumping into the Central Park rape case, Trump appeared in an NBC News special on race in the United States. He declared that certain black Americans now had an advantage over white Americans. Trump noted that if he were starting off in business at this point in time, he would “love” to be “a well-educated black.” He explained, “I really believe they do have an actual advantage today.” Later in the program, actor and director Spike Lee slammed Trump’s comments as “garbage” and “craziness.”

Watch Trump suggest that he might have done better as a black man:

Here’s the full quote:

A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. And, I think, sometimes a black may think that they don’t really have the advantage or this or that but in actuality today, currently, it’s, uh, it’s a, it’s a great. I’ve said on occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today I would love to be a well-educated black because I really believe they do have an actual advantage today.

If black men held an advantage over white counterparts, this certainly wasn’t reflected within Trump’s own company. The Associated Press reported in 2016 that it had examined the senior levels of the Trump Organization over the past three decades and discovered “few, if any, black executives.” The report claimed former Trump officials could not remember “a single black vice president-level executive at Trump’s headquarters.”

Read the rest of “The Trump Files”:

 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate