In the 1960s, Mae Wiggins and her friend Maxine Brown applied for housing at the Wilshire Apartments in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. Ms. Wiggins recalls her experience clearly, and is said to have been one of the many who experienced discriminatory practices on the part of Fred Trump and his protégés.
In two court cases, built on evidence obtained from beleaguered black apartment-seekers, former employees and activists, Fred Trump, and, in later cases, Donald Trump, faced accusations of systematic discrimination against African Americans, cases that the Trumps ultimately settled without admitting any wrongdoing.
Many would-be tenants were turned away from an apartment complex in Cincinnati, where Donald Trump first started his career as a property manager. Similar allegations in New York led to what became one of the largest housing discrimination lawsuits filed by the federal government.
Thousands of pages of documents in the two cases in New York and Cincinnati have since been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times and elucidate how accusations of racial discrimination have followed the family business from the earliest days of Donald and Fred Trump’s careers. The Trumps fought aggressively towards charges of racial bias. Sound familiar? Read more here.