Saturday 18 January 2020, 11:23 PM
'Coming from Queens, Trump felt he never arrived in NY'
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 11/2/2019 4:53:33 PM
'Coming from Queens, Trump felt he never arrived in NY'

New York: US President Donald Trump might have announced he was switching his permanent residence from the Big Apple to Florida - earning a caustic "Good riddance" from Governor Andrew Cuomo - but the fact of the matter is that not only did he grow up in an area "steeped in racism and bigotry" but always felt like an outsider, try had as he might to ingratiate himself into the city, a book that traces his rise to the US presidency says.

"To understand Trump, in some ways a quintessential New Yorker, one needs to understand the psychology of New Yorkers. In particular, one needs to understand the way New Yorkers from Manhattan tend to look down at New Yorkers who come from the city's other four boroughs - the Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens," veteran journalist and Author Alan Friedman writes in "Democracy In Peril - Donald Trumps's America" (Om Books International).

Trump came from the outlying borough of Queens, from a suburban neighbourhood called Jamaica Estates. He grew up in a spacious house on a tree-lined hill in this little enclave of Queens, the son of a wealthy real-estate broker-turned-property developer named Fred Trump.

"Trump, unsurprisingly for a kid from Queens, had a chip on his shoulder about the glamour and social acceptance of Manhattan's Upper East Side. It was not so much an inferiority complex as a drive to arrive, a desire for acceptance. Even though he was driven to a private school in nearby Forest Hills in one of his father's chaufferred limousines, he felt he had not arrived," Friedman writes.

He might have been from a wealthy enclave but it was still Queens, an outlying borough, and his father might have been a rich property developer but he was still an outsider. Jamaica Estates was a very white neighbourhood in Queens, and as Trump's father put up apartment buildings elsewhere in the borough, he found himself accused of racial discrimination.

"In other words, both father and son were accused by prosecutors of of refusing to rent or sell to black people, a charge the Trump family has always denied. The court records from the 1970s showed that they paid settlements to avoid any admission of guilt," the book says.

In the 1970s, Queens was the location for what was for a time America's most popular television show, a dark comedy called "All in the Family". The programme featured a bigoted and racist white man without a college degree who was named Archie Bunker. He lived in a workingman's house in a workingman's neighbourhood - the Queens.

"Today, Trump is President of the United States after running an electoral campaign steeped in the language and mindset of Archie Bunker's Queens. So, among the many influences that shaped and formed the young Trump, he happened to grow up in an area of New York City steeped in racism and bigotry, an area where each new immigrant group becomes the lowest rung on the social ladder in the great American melting pot," Friedman writes.

Manhattantite snobs tend to use a disparaging term - bridge and tunnel crowd - for New Yorkers from other boroughs and for even those who live across the Hudson River in New Jersey. In 1971, aged 25, "finally shed his bridge and tunnel skin and moved into an apartment on the Upper East Side for the first time...The suburban outsider had arrived", the book says.

To understand Trump, Friedman writes, "one needs of understand the importance for him of penetrating what he perceived to be the inner sanctums of the very power elite that as a politician he has railed against. The word 'arriviste' refers to someone who craves applause and social acceptance because they have arrived in New York City; Trump has always been considered an arriviste developer from Queens. He has been pretty much shunned by Old Money and by Old Families, as seems fitting for a man who has shamelessly sold the public on the glories of how he made money, a man who for decades has showcased his own gaudy lifestyle as a model of conspicuous consumption. In Trump's world,opulence is a value and the more something shines, the better it is,"

In a series of tweets on Thursday night, Trump said: "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, is the place I have come to love and will stay for, hopefully, another five years as we Make America Great Again, but my family and I will be making Palm Beach, Florida, our permanent residence.

"I cherish New York, and the people of New York, and always will, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state.

"Few have been treated worse. I hated having to make this decision, but in the end it will be best for all concerned. As President, I will always be there to help New York and the great people of New York. It will always have a special place in my heart."Trump has been at odds with New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasi, the BBC reported.

They both welcomed the President's announcement.Cuomo took to Twitter, saying: "Good riddance. It's not like @realDonaldTrump paid taxes here anyway... He's all yours, Florida."The Mayor also said in a series of tweets: "Don't let the door hit you on the way out or whatever... "Our deepest condolences to the good people of Florida as Trump attempts to outrun his past (and near future)."

Tags:

US President Donald Trump,Friedman,neighbourhood,International

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