Donald Trump and slavery in the United States of America!

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Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa

Let’s talk about Donald Trump.

As the Republican nominee for the next president of the United States of America in the general elections up ahead, Donald Trump is somehow seen as an unsuitable occupant for the White House ever.

Still, some will argue that the man is as resourceful as a ravenous bull so that it would be unfair to just count him out of the race, three months before they are held, as they say, anything can happen during that time.

What’s more, as the self-proclaimed billionaire with a string of casinos and hotels to his name mainly around the east coast of America and in Great Britain too, there is reason to believe the man’s greed is unquenchable.

Still, as the one who is dominating the world news with his unprovoked racist denunciations as well as his abrasive rhetoric being talked about everywhere, he is virtually a pain if you really want to know what’re talking about here.

In fact, throughout America, a country where slavery was abolished by President Abraham Lincoln a long time ago, he is, indeed, a scalawag whom many are advocating is clearly unfit for the role he’s now aspiring to.  

Take the story from the New York Times for instance. 

Written by Jonathan Mahler and Steve Ederaug, and published on 27 August 2016, its title reads: “’No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start.”

It is January 1973, and underneath the title is a photo of Donald and his father, Fred C. Trump; they are visiting a tenant in one of their apartment buildings in Brooklyn, the tenant’s name is Maxine Brown, and she is black. 

Miss Brown has been interviewed by a staff member and the staffer’s recommendation is positive.

It says:  

“She seemed like the model tenant. She’s a 33-year-old nurse living at the Y.W.C.A. in Harlem. 

“She had come to rent a one-bedroom at the still-unfinished Wilshire Apartments, in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens. 

“She filled out what the rental agent remembers as a ‘beautiful application. The applicant did not even want to look at the unit.”

There was just one hitch: Maxine Brown was black.

The rental agent talked to his boss, Fred C. Trump.

He explains: “I asked him what to do and he says, ‘Take the application and put it in a drawer and leave it there.’” 

The agent, Mr. Leibowitz, who is now 88, recalls.

It was late 1963 and the tall, mustachioed Fred Trump, was about to complete the jewel in the crown of his middle-class housing empire, the seven 23-story towers, called Trump Village, spreading across nearly 40 acres in Coney Island.

And now he was also grooming his heir, his son Donald, 17, to take over the business. Donald was soon to enroll at Fordham University in the Bronx, he was living at his parents’ home in Queens, and he was spending much of his free time touring construction sites in his father’s Cadillac, driven by a black chauffeur.

Over the next decade, as Donald J. Trump assumed an increasingly prominent role in the business, the company’s practice of turning away potential black tenants, was painstakingly documented by activists and organizations that viewed equal housing as the next frontier in the civil rights struggle.

The Justice Department undertook its own investigation and, in 1973, sued Trump Management for discriminating against blacks. Both Fred Trump, the company’s chairman, and Donald Trump, as its president, were named as defendants. 

Asked what he thought of the government’s allegation, Donald said it was “absolutely ridiculous.”

Said the New York Times: “Trump’s response to the lawsuit can be seen as presaging his handling of subsequent challenges, in business and in politics. 

“Rather than quietly trying to settle, he turned the lawsuit into a protracted battle, complete with angry denials, character assassination, charges that the government was trying to force him to rent to ‘welfare recipients’ and a $100 million countersuit accusing the Justice Department of defamation.”

That was in 1973.

However, way back in 1855, slavery was such an abhorrent issue even the government was ashamed of having anything to do with it.

It was around that time, that President Abraham Lincoln wrote to his “personal friend” Joshua Speed, who was a slave owner in Kentucky, reminding him:  

 “You know I dislike slavery,” Lincoln wrote. “And you fully admit the abstract wrong of it.  

“I also acknowledge your rights, and my obligations under the constitution, in regard to your slaves. 

“I confess I hate to see the poor creatures hunted down, and caught, and carried back to their stripes, and unrewarded toils. But I bite my lip and keep quiet.”

Lincoln continued: “I remember that in 1841, you and I had together a tedious low-water trip, on a Steam Boat from Louisville to St. Louis. 

“You may also remember, as I well do, that from Louisville to the mouth of the Ohio, there were, on board, ten or a dozen slaves, shackled together with irons. 

“That sight was a continued torment to me; and I see something like it every time I touch the Ohio, or any other slave-border. 

“It is hardly fair for you to assume, that I have no interest in a thing which has, and continually exercises, the power of making me miserable. 

“You ought rather to appreciate how much the great body of the Northern people do crucify their feelings, in order to maintain their loyalty to the Constitution and the Union.

“How can anyone who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” 

“And now we practically read all men are created equal, except negroes. When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics. 

“When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”

In 1854, Abraham Lincoln wrote: “If all earthly powers were given to me, my first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, their own native land.”

And then on 22 September 1862, that dream of his came true.

On that day, Lincoln announced that slavery, was abolished in America.  

In addition,  “in his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, he declared that as of 1 January 1863, all slaves in states in rebellion against the Union shall be then, and henceforward, be forever free.”

So what do you think? If Donald Trump won the elections, would he be a kind, racist-free, and loving President of the United States of America?

As for us here in our little corner of the universe, now that our own elections are well and truly behind us, let’s forget Donald Trump for a moment, and pray that this enviable peace we’re taking for granted today, is here to stay.  

Indeed, let’s also pray that this freedom which is very much an inseparable part of the life we’re living today,  will forever remain.  

Share your thoughts with the rest. 

 

*The writer is indebted to Wikipedia for assisting with the facts in this editorial. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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