, 14 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
I retweeted this uncanny clip last night, and I had a thought:
Is the villain fraudster "Trump" from a 1958 TV show based on the real life villain/real estate fraud *Fred* Trump?
I have some reason to think it is... 1/
2/ Fred Trump's real estate holdings grew rapidly in New York after WWII.
Woody Guthrie was a tenant of Fred Trump's in 1950, and he hated him so much he wrote a song condemning "Old Man Trump." Check out this story: washingtonpost.com/news/morning-m…
3/ @washingtonpost reported on Guthrie's 1950s notebooks, including these lyrics he never put to music:
"I suppose
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
Racial Hate
he stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed
That color line
Here at his
1800 family project"
4/ More @justinwmmoyer's 2016 Guthrie story:
"Beach Haven ain’t my home!
I just cain’t pay this rent!
My money’s down the drain!
And my soul is badly bent!
Beach Haven looks like heaven
Where no black ones come to roam!
No, no, no! Old Man Trump!
Old Beach Haven ain’t my home!
5/ @justinwmoyer writes:
“Beach Haven,” it turns out, was an apartment building erected by Fred Trump.
Guthrie moved there in 1950.
Historian Will Kaufman found a story of Fred Trump's fraud and vicious racism. You have to read this whole piece.
6/ "[Fred] Trump would be investigated by a U.S. Senate committee in 1954 for profiteering off of public contracts, not least by overestimating his Beach Haven building charges to the tune of US$3.7 million.”
Kaufman explains Fred Trump engaged in racist "red-lining."
7/ I found the historian who found this evidence on twitter: @KaufmanWill.
Will, look what your research connects!
“Donald did inherit his father’s racism, and was probably actively coached in his father’s racism, and worked with his father to perpetuate it,” argued Will Kaufman.
8/ More on the DOJ's 1973 case against Fred Trump for widespread racial discrimination in NY housing. It seems highly plausible that someone in New York knew all of this about Fred Trump, became a TV screenwriter, and put it in a 1958 TV show. washingtonpost.com/politics/insid…
9/ "The Trumps’ company had encountered allegations of discrimination before Donald Trump arrived [in the 60s]. On at least 7occasions, people seeking apartments had filed complaints about alleged “discriminatory practices” with the New York City Commission on Human Rights."
10/ And of course, we already knew @realDonaldTrump's father Fred was arrested as part of a KKK rally in 1927 NYC.
30 years later, he becomes a TV villain/fraud like his son.
The apple does not fall far from the racist fraud tree.
vice.com/en_us/article/…
11/ More amazing finds from @KaufmanWill in his new book "Mapping Woody Guthrie," based on racist fraud *Fred* Trump:
"Will introduces such previously unheard songs as “Trump Made a Tramp Out of Me” along with a host of other Guthrie songs about racial injustice and struggle."
12/ Hang on.
@realDonaldTrump was about 12 when this episode aired on CBS in 1958. You know he was a TV addict then, as he is now.
Surely he and his classmates saw this show, saw the villain Trump, saw that it looked a lot like Trump's dad.
Can you imagine the teasing and shame?
13/ Guess when Fred Trump send Donnie off to military school?
When Trump was 13, sometime after this episode.
Fred said to the media that Donnie was "rough" and difficult before he sent him away. I wonder why.
It's as good a villain origins story as any. h/t @jentaub
PS: The actor who played Walter/Fred Trump - Lawrence Dobkin- was from NYC! What are the chances he knew of Fred Trump’s frauds?
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