August 11, 2022

A new recording from The Apprentice just exposed Trump’s history of racist ideas

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Donald Trump’s campaign of racial divisiveness did not start with his inauguration — however illegitimate — as president according to a recently unearthed recording from his glory days as the host of the reality TV program The Apprentice.


It was 2005, and after nearly three full seasons on the air, The Apprentice was beginning to suffer from anemic ratings compared to its first two seasons. That’s when Donald Trump came up with an idea that he thought could boost the show’s ratings to become the highest-rated program on television.

He initially floated the idea on Howard Stern’s radio show in April of 2005: the next season of The Apprentice could feature one all-white team of contestants pitted against an all-black team.

His suggestion proves that Trump’s racially divisive mind has long been set on exacerbating the racial divide in America particularly when he can find a way to profit from it.

When Trump asked Stern what he thought of the idea, the talk radio giant expressed his approval. However, when he asked Robin Quivers, Stern’s African-American radio sidekick, what she felt about the concept, she had a completely different reaction.

“Well,” Quivers said, “I think you’re going to have a riot.”

The unruly crowds at Trump’s North Carolina rally last week chanting “send her back” demonstrates how prescient Quivers’ response truly was.

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Trump replied to Quivers by expounding on the idea in more detail that only made his proposal sound even worse, according to an account on Business Insider.

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“‘I think that it would be handled very beautifully by me. Because, as you know, I’m very diplomatic,’ he told Stern, adding that while there would be a mix of light-skinned and dark-skinned black contestants, the white team would be strictly blonds.”

That the Howard Stern show leans heavily on comedy in its format is obvious by Trump’s claims of being “very diplomatic.” Moreover, his all-blond white team idea is practically a parody of the neo-Nazi Aryan values that the white nationists that now make up a large portion of his base espouse.

Luckily for the viewing public, the executives at NBC — the network that was airing The Apprentice — were not as enthusiastic about Trump’s race-baiting contest as Howard Stern was and promptly rejected Trump’s idea.

That rejection didn’t stop Trump from trying to divide the country along racial lines for his own electoral benefit when he decided to begin a political career after The Apprentice morphed into Celebrity Apprentice amidst nearly continually sinking ratings.

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Trump is an old dog persistently recycling his old tricks. Unfortunately, the outcome of his scheming now affects the entire nation rather than just the outcome of a televised reality show contest.

When a president presents a view of the world in simple terms of black and white, voters are presented with their own binary option.

The decent Americans will choose the vote no to Trump’s agenda of a racially divided country — an agenda that plays right into the stated aims of Trump’s Rusian puppeteer, Vladimir Putin, to create disunity and chaos in our country.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter

Original reporting by Peter Baker, Michael M. Grynbaum, Maggie Haberman, Annie Karni, and Russ Buettner at The New York Times and by Mary Hanbury at Business Insider.

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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