I started watching Donald Trump again last summer. I say “again” because I’m a New Yorker. I remembered him from the 1980’s when he redid the Wollman Ice Rink. The city was supposed to rebuild the rink in 1980 but six years and million dollars later, it still wasn’t complete. Trump offered to renovate the rink in 4 months for free. After he completed the rink under-budget and on time, he asked the city to allow him to recoup his expenses by keeping the revenue the rink made until he’d been reimbursed for all of his expenses. He operated the rink and a nearby restaurant from 1986 until 1991. He also operated rink again in 2001 as a joint venture. One of his companies is currently operating the rink.
Trump popped up again in 1989, taking out a full-page ad in the Times to bring back the death penalty for the Central Park Jogger’s “supposed assailants” before they were even tried or found guilty. Years later, the Central Park Five’s (as the so-called assailants were now known), convictions were vacated and they all were released from prison when another man admitted to the crime and his DNA matched what found at the scene.
From 1990 until 1992, I learned even more about Trump and his first divorce than I ever wanted to know. I learned how badly he treated his first wife during the proceedings. I read how, according to news media, he’d betrayed his first wife so publicly by running around with other women while he was still married. As a divorced woman myself, I was glad his first wife squeezed as much money as she could out of him, receiving a substantial settlement.
Every time I drive uptown on the Westside Highway and I pass 72nd street, I’m reminded how there used to be an exit ramp there until Trump built expensive residential buildings facing the Hudson River. He was able to get New York City officials remove the exit ramp because he’d built a river walk as a part of a 3-billion-dollar housing project. They also changed the parking zones in the area for his project too. It’s worth noting these changes happened without community support. Trump wanted it and he got it.
Last summer, what I saw of Trump told me he hadn’t changed. He was still the same blustering bully he always was. He demanded attention so he could say or do something that made little or no logical sense in front of the cameras and the news media. I admit, back then I thought he was funny. I thought he’d never make the grade to become the Republican Presidential nominee. He did make the grade. I’m no longer laughing.
I shudder to think what a Trump Presidency would be like for a Black, LGBTQ woman like me. I’m sure I’d have three targets on my back with a President Trump… Black, LGBTQ and female.
Thanks for reading this. Remember to VOTE ON TUESDAY 11/8/16!!!