A 1973 racial discrimination lawsuit against Donald Trump, his father Fred Trump and the family’s real estate company is the focus of a Hillary Clinton ad released Tuesday.
In the video ad, Mae Wiggins, a retired nurse, says she was denied an apartment in a Trump building because of the color of her skin.
Wiggins applied to the Wilshire Apartments in Jamaica Estates in the 1960s, according to a New York Times report.
“I applied and was told by the Trump corporation that there were no vacancies,” Wiggins says in the video.
Wiggins complained to the NYC Human Rights Commission, and when the commission sent a white couple to the same housing development, they were offered a unit.
“You can’t deny discrimination when the same unit that has been denied to a black person is offered to a white person,” Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, former chair of the NYC Human Rights Commission, says in the ad.
The commission conducted similar tests at other Trump buildings and determined that the same thing was happening. At the time, Trump Management Inc. owned 39 buildings with around 15,000 apartments in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. A sampling of 10 of those buildings showed that only 1 to 3.5 percent of the residents were minorities, The Washington Post reported.
The lawsuit was settled by the Trumps, but Donald Trump has repeatedly said that settlement did not include an admission of any wrong doing by his family’s company.
“We settled the suit with zero — with no admission of guilt. It was very easy to do,” Trump said in the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, 2016.
But Holmes Norton sees it differently.
“The proof was so clear that the Justice Department was able to obtain a strong consent decree,” she says in the video ad. “It is functionally the same as being found guilty of discrimination except you don’t have to admit discrimination.”