When President Barack Obama was lambasting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Tuesday during a Philadelphia campaign event, he left out one thing — the truth.
Obama was seeking to belittle Trump’s claim to be the candidate who is the champion of the working class.
“This guy’s suddenly going to be your champion? I mean, he spent most of life trying to stay as far away from working people as he could, and now this guy’s going to be the champion of working people. Huh?” Obama said.
“I mean, he wasn’t going to let you on his golf course. He wasn’t going to let you buy in his condo. And now suddenly this guy’s going to be your champion?”
However, that flies in the face of the reality that long before he ran for president, Trump defied societal conventions and shattered race barriers when he purchased the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., and converted it into a private golf club.
“When Donald opened his club in Palm Beach called Mar-a-Lago, he insisted onaccepting Jews and blacks even though other clubs in Palm Beach to this day discriminate against blacks and Jews,” author Ronald Kessler told Newsmax in July 2015. “The old guard in Palm Beach was outraged that Donald would accept blacks and Jews, so that’s the real Donald Trump that I know.”
Prior to Trump’s arrival, other clubs in the Palm Beach area “had long barred Jews and African Americans — which is to say they practiced a quiet but steely racism,” wrote Jeffrey Lord in The American Spectator last November.
“He put the light on Palm Beach,” Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a 1997 Wall Street Journal piece that captured the fuss as it was unfolding. “Not on the beauty and the glitter, but on its seamier side of discrimination. It has an impact.”
One of Trump’s tactics to change the status quo was to send the town council a copy of Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, a film whose characters defy the race-based discrimination of the day.
The town council would not budge, leading Trump to file a $100 million lawsuit alleging the town was “discriminating against Mar-a-Lago, in part because it is open to Jews and African Americans,” reported The American Spectator.
“In other words, long before he was running for president, there was Donald Trump battling racism and anti-Semitism in Palm Beach society. Using every tool at his disposal,” wrote Lord.
He continued, “In today’s world the Left demands racial quotas and supports illegal immigration. What all of these things have in common is that they are designed to divide Americans by race, to divide by skin color. The good news here [is] that in Donald Trump someone — finally — is standing up to fight back. Just as he fought back all those years ago in Palm Beach when no one was looking.”
When The Washington Post covered Trump’s Palm Beach past in a November 2015 article, it also noted that Trump and the town were at odds on more than race. Palm Beach forbade flag poles taller than 42 feet. Trump put up an 80-foot pole in 2006, for which he incurred a $1,250-per-day fine.
The Post quoted Trump as saying, in an interview from the time, “No American should have to get a permit to fly the flag.”
“I said, ‘This is a dream to have someone sue me to take down the American flag,’” Trump also said.
In the end, after Trump sued Palm Beach for $25 million, he compromised with a 70-foot pole farther from the road, and instead of a fine he donated $100,000 to a charity for veterans.
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