This Truthfeed article, via Reddit, claims that Donald Trump fought Palm Beach authorities to ensure that the Mar-a-Lago golf club that he owned could be opened up to Jewish and African-American customers:

When it came to segregation in the South at private, all-white country clubs, it might have been in Trump’s business interests to simply look the other way. Instead, Trump did the right thing and insisted on desegregation at his golf resort.

And he won.

Is this true?

There is a more comprehensive answers to several different questions. So this one just concentrate on this one.

In particular

  1. Is Trump golf club the first in the area that's open to everyone
  2. Is Trump discriminated because he is not racist?
  3. Did he fought for it?
  • @rougon Welcome to Skeptics SE.
    – Rathony
    Oct 10, 2016 at 17:31
  • 5
    possible duplicate. snopes suggests that Trumps action may have been in his business interest, not against it.
    – tim
    Oct 10, 2016 at 17:38
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    I'm afraid your edit made it less clear for me, especially because the current answer seems to address the major claims in the article. Can you point to where in the original article it made the three new claims?
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 12, 2016 at 6:50

2 Answers 2


tim in the comments pointed to the snopes article but I'll quote it here.


This particular claim is mostly false. The snopes article addresses a list of claims from an image including this one.

For one, it wasn't a club, segregated or otherwise when he bought it. He simply didn't make it segregated when he made it a club and wasn't asked to by the city.

But Trump didn't literally buy a "segregated club," as when he purchased Mar-a-Lago in 1985 it was a private estate and not a club. It wasn't until the 1990s that Trump sought to convert the property into a private club, whereupon the town council imposed a series of restrictions upon his plans. Those restrictions didn't require that Trump operate a segregated club; rather, Trump battled those restrictions, in part, by making the point that it was unseemly for the town to impose greater restrictions upon his plans to open an integrated club than they did upon existing segregated clubs:

The town council, seeing Trump as an ostentatious outsider, handed him a list of restrictions as he sought to transform the property in the 1990s. Membership, traffic, party attendance, even photography — all would be strictly limited.

But Trump undercut his adversaries with a searing attack, claiming that local officials seemed to accept the established private clubs in town that had excluded Jews and blacks while imposing tough rules on his inclusive one.

Trump's lawyer sent every member of the town council copies of two classic movies about discrimination: A Gentleman's Agreement, about a journalist who pretends to be Jewish to expose anti-Semitism, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner about a white couple's reaction to their daughter bringing home a black fiance.

The move infuriated council members, who said it was a distraction from their concerns that Trump's club would spoil a quiet street. But, in time, Trump got most of the restrictions lifted.

"He won in the court of public opinion," said Jack McDonald, who was a council member at the time and who went on to be mayor and to join Mar-a-Lago.

Town council member Allen Wyett opined that Trump's nondiscriminatory policy at the club was more of a business decision than a social one:

Wyett, who is Jewish, said he would hear Trump talk with pride about Mar-a-Lago’s nondiscriminatory policy, but wondered if it was a business strategy: “Was he smart enough to realize that Palm Beach is about 40 percent Jewish and he was not going to attract the old guard anyway?”

  • 6
    Looks like the answer is true. You just spin it as if it's false. Of course he doesn't fight racial segregation for the sake of justice. He's a businessman. He did fought it. And won. And yes, it's also a smart business decision because 40% of the resident is jewish. This shows how left by it self, under market mechanism, people will stop being racists by itself.
    – user21795
    Oct 13, 2016 at 2:29
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    @user21795 by that score anyone, literally anyone who opens a business to everyone could claim to be "fighting racial segregation" including people who never thought about it. The club was never segregated, nobody was trying to make it segregated. it's pure marketing by trump.
    – Murphy
    Oct 13, 2016 at 9:00
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    of course. Why not? Anyone maximizing their profit ends racism. It's just natural market mechanism.
    – user21795
    Oct 13, 2016 at 14:07
  • @Murphy if there were other similar business which were segregated, and one of the new business' competitive advantages is not being segregated - yes, that would be fighting segregation by providing alternative. The fact that it's a smart business move does not detract from it - of course it's smart, don't we all agree being racist is not very smart? There were numerous businesses that earned a lot of money by de-segregating themselves - e.g. Cadillac which pioneered luxury car sales to African-American community, made a very nice profit on it.
    – StasM
    Oct 18, 2016 at 1:06
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    @user21795 It sounds more like he used the argument of racism to fight the long list of restrictions being imposed upon him - not, as you put it, to fight racism. Essentially, he picked a battle he knew he could win, with a tool he knew he could leverage, in order to avoid fighting a battle he knew he would lose - and based on the last quoted paragraph, the battle he picked was one that wasn't an issue in the first place.
    – Zibbobz
    Oct 18, 2016 at 17:28

Mar-a-Lago in absolutely no way was the first inclusionary resort in Palm Beach. The Breakers has been inclusionary since before I was born (mid-80s) and the Palm Beach Country Club itself was founded by Jews in 1953.

The course was originally built for a long-vanished hotel. It began life as a Jewish country club in 1953 when its founders could not get into other local clubs, like the Everglades Club, a WASP preserve on Worth Avenue in the heart of the island of Palm Beach’s main shopping drag.

Furthermore, there's an extremely long history (at least for the US) of Jewish Society in Palm Beach. According to this article, Jews over a century ago used to winter at Henry Flagler's Royal Poinciana Hotel.

  • When was the Palm Beach Country Club integrated?
    – Avery
    Oct 17, 2016 at 19:25
  • Technically it was always integrated, as it was founded by Jews in 1953. Before that it was an abandoned hotel. Oct 17, 2016 at 19:26
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    To my knowledge, there has never been racial segregation at the Palm Beach Country Club, as there would be no reason not to allow Jews of African descent (i.e. Ethiopian jews). There is still the requirement that you are in fact Jewish but in all honesty they screen membership based more on philanthropy and community involvement than anything else. Oct 17, 2016 at 19:32
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    Yeah, in all honesty I'm not crazy about the whole scene. It promotes this whole 'mean girls' attitude that IMO should not be allowed into adulthood. At least the Jewish clubs exist in part to provide a safe space in what used to be a deeply unsafe space. What it's turned into (most of the country clubs in S Florida - I don't know about Mar-a-Lago or PBCC in this case, but I could probably list 5 of these off the top of my head) is honestly mostly thinly veiled swingers communities. Also it's been CRAZY WEIRD watching this stuff play out on national TV after growing up there. Oct 17, 2016 at 19:39
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    This contains largely anecdotal evidence. The Internet is full of untrue anecdotes, and we have no way of assessing whether one is true and whether it always applies. Therefore, they are not acceptable here. I'll be editing it.
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 18, 2016 at 3:50

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