Donald Trump Wanted To Segregate ‘The Apprentice’ Contestants In 2005
His fascination with race-baiting goes back more than a decade.
The great Maya Angelou once said, “When people tell you who they are, believe them.” If we would have applied this sage advice a decade ago, we could have predicted the oncoming storm of racial controversy caused by Donald Trump. Back in 2005, when he was searching for new gimmicks for the fourth season of his hit reality TV show, The Apprentice, he floated the idea of a segregated show. It would pit white contestants and black contestants against each other to see would ultimately win the job of being his apprentice.
In July of 2005, he floated the idea on his syndicated radio show. He said he has “an idea that is fairly controversial—creating a team of successful African-Americans versus a team of successful whites. Whether people like that idea or not, it is somewhat reflective of our very vicious world.” Although the idea never made it to the screen, the fact that he considered it shows that Trump has a long-held fascination with the power of racial tension. A fascination he would later make public in 2011 when he started his birther crusade against President Obama.
“Best-case scenario, it was huge blind spot. Worst-case scenario, it showed [Trump’s] willingness to exploit race and be divisive—to do anything to promote himself,” Tara Dowdell, a black communications consultant who appeared on The Apprentice’s third season, told BuzzFeed News. “The presidency can’t be one crazy, ill-advised publicity stunt after another.” Whether Trump’s ill-advised idea for The Apprentice was symptomatic of racism or just another publicity stunt is hard to tell. But, we do know that Donald Trump has told us time and time again who he is and it’s about time we believed it.