A couple of months ago, as part of his so-called “outreach” to African-American voters, Donald Trump spoke at a predominantly black church in Detroit. Over the years, Trump has repeatedly bragged that “the blacks” love him. He’s even tried to bolster that argument by alleging he once received an award from the NAACP. But like nearly everything the GOP nominee says, that is an unmitigated lie.
Now we have Trump’s attorney and advisor Michael Cohen trying to spread the NAACP award lie via Twitter. Take a look at this:
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) October 18, 2016
But the NAACP has a much different stance on the issue: They say they have never ever given any award to Trump for “helping America’s inner cities.”
So what’s with the photo of Trump with Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali? That’s one hell of a story, so lace up your boots and get ready to take a ride in the way back machine.
The year is 1986, and a civic committee chose a group of 12 naturalized citizens to receive “medals of liberty” from President Ronald Reagan. The list included composer Irving Berlin, who emigrated from Russia; Franklin Chang Diaz, an astronaut from Costa Rica; I.M. Pei, an architect born in China; and entertainment legend Bob Hope, who was born in England.
All hell broke loose when William Fugazy, a real estate broker and personal friend of the Donald began a shitstorm because there were no native-born citizens among those set to receive the liberty medal winners. Apparently Fugazy was too obtuse to understand the awards were created to celebrate naturalized Americans. He also felt it unfair that none of the recipients were “Irish, Italians, (or) Poles.”
Soon, Mayor Ed Koch joined the protest over who would receive the awards, calling the selections “idiotic.” Koch said he would be handing out his own awards to commemorate the Statue of Liberty.
In June of 1986, Fugazy created a new organization, the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, or NECO, and a new award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Some of those chosen for this new honor were Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, and Donald Trump. Others included baseball great Joe DiMaggio, humorist Victor Borge, and singer and anti-gay activist Anita Bryant.
In the years since the first recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor were named, Hillary Clinton and John McCain have also received the award.
It should also be noted that around the same time Trump was getting his Ellis Island honor, he and his father were being sued by the Justice Department for discriminating against African-Americans who tried to rent apartments in buildings owned by Trump and his father, Fred. The Trumps were also sued in the mid-1980s for attempting to force poor and elderly tenants from their rent-controlled apartments in one of his buildings. In addition to the lawsuit, Trump shut off the water in the building and refused to make repairs.
An award for Donald Trump? Sounds like he deserves Asshole of the Decade honors. That’s one prize he’s truly earned.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org