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

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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”:

 

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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