In his new book "Real Irish New York," Dermot McEvoy recounts when journalist Jimmy Breslin "called out Trump for what he was then and what he is today—a moral coward."
I see the Arsonist-in-Chief is trying to throw a little gasoline on the fire in Minneapolis.
You should not be surprised.
This bigot of the first rank—his name is Donald John Trump, by the way—has a history of bigotry, especially against blacks. (Hard to believe that his bigotry against Hispanics is of the Johnny-Come-Lately variety.)
In my new book, Real Irish New York, I did a long chapter on the three best newspaper columnists of my day—Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hamill and Joe Flaherty.
I did a section in the Breslin chapter on Trump's call for execution for the Central Park Five.
In fact, he wanted them executed before the victim was a corpse.
Take a look at how the great Jimmy Breslin skewered Donald Trump 31 years ago. As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
The following is an excerpt from Dermot McEvoy's new book, "Real Irish New York," published by Skyhorse:
Taking on Trump Over the Central Park Five
Speaking of Trump, he and Breslin have met in battle before. Back in 1989 when five black kids were accused of raping and leaving for dead a young woman in Central Park, Donald Trump thought it his civic duty to take out newspaper ads—while anxiously waiting for the young woman to become a corpse—and requested the death penalty for the five boys. No homicide had been committed yet, but that didn’t bother Trump. It may have been our first notification of how much of a bigot Trump was.
Breslin wrote a column on May 2, 1989, for Newsday called “Violent Language, Between You and I” and called out Trump for what he was then and what he is today—a moral coward.
“…[O]ne recoiled, but was hardly surprised to find in the newspapers this morning a full-page advertisement by ‘Between You and I’ Trump in the insolent, cruel words one would expect of him for, of course, lack of knowledge of a language always breeds words of thuggery. The ad for the first time reveals all the rest of the things that anybody would want to know about Donald Trump. In his ad, which ran in all four of the city’s newspapers, ‘Between You and I’ Trump practically called for the death of the teenagers arrested for the rape and attack on the 28-year-old jogger in Central Park.”
“Outside the courthouse,” Breslin went on to warn, “beware always of the loudmouth taking advantage of the situation and appealing to a crowd’s meanest nature.”
In his ad, Trump wrote, “Mayor Koch has stated that hate and rancor should be removed from our hearts. I do not think so. I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes . . . Yes, Mayor Koch, I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyze them or understand them, I am looking to punish them . . . I no longer want to understand their anger. I want them to understand our anger. I want them to be afraid.”
Tough guy, that Donald John Trump, especially with other people’s lives.
“Such violent language sounds,” Breslin correctly guessed, “as if it were coming from someone who walks around with bodyguards.”
Then Breslin let the media have it—and he was right on. A quarter-of-a-century later they would take a draft-dodging, serial misogynist, give him free coverage on TV, and turn him into the forty-fifth president of the United States: “The curious thing about ‘Between You and I’ Trump,” Breslin warned, “is not that he destroyed himself yesterday, for all demagogues ultimately do that, but why he became so immensely popular with the one group of people who are supposed to be the searchlights and loudspeakers that alert the public to the realities of such a person. That would be those who work in the news business. Even the most unhostile of eyes cannot say that his buildings are not ugly. Yet all news stories say ‘imaginative’ when common sense shouts ‘arrogant.’ Always, the television and newspapers talk of his financial brilliance, when anybody in the street knows that most of ‘Between You and I’ Trump’s profits come from crap games and slot machines in Atlantic City, the bulk of that, the slot machines, coming from old people who go down there with their Social Security checks.”
Breslin went on to say “the news business today is so utterly dishonest that the people are below taking bribes. Instead, Trump buys them with a smile, a phone call or a display of wealth that so excites these poor fools that they cannot wait to herald his brilliance.”
By the way, the Central Park Five were innocent—which I’m sure didn’t bother Donald Trump in the least.
Read more about it in Real Irish New York which is available in hardcover and Kindle from Amazon.
*Dermot McEvoy is the author of the recently published "Real Irish New York: A Rogue’s Gallery of Fenians, Tough Women, Holy Men, Blasphemers, Jesters, and a Gang of Other Colorful Characters." He is also the author of "The 13th Apostle: A Novel of Michael Collins," and "The Irish Uprising and Our Lady of Greenwich Village," both now available in paperback, Kindle, and Audio from Skyhorse Publishing. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on his website or his Facebook page.