Donald Trump: Scotland gave a hero’s welcome to this bigot – Brian Wilson

If Scotland had looked into Donald Trump’s background they would have found evidence that showed he was not worthy of the honours he was given long before he became US President, writes Brian Wilson.

Donald Trump and then SNP leader Alex Salmond at the Dressed to Kilt fashion show in New York in 2006 (Picture: Erin Siegal/Handout/Reuters)
Donald Trump and then SNP leader Alex Salmond at the Dressed to Kilt fashion show in New York in 2006 (Picture: Erin Siegal/Handout/Reuters)

I am always at least a year’s viewing behind but catching up with the superb Netflix series When They See Us proved to be uncannily good timing.

It recounts the story of the Central Park Five – four black kids and one Hispanic – who were framed for raping a white woman and served lengthy sentences before the real culprit confessed.

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The only links between the boys and the crime were confessions beaten out of them by white detectives. There is nothing new in America.

Post-Netflix, some degree of justice finally caught up with the chief villains.

The woman who led the case had become a successful crime writer and was stripped of reputation and positions. The chief prosecutor, who had good grounds to know they were innocent, resigned her law professor post at Columbia.

However, there was one other shadowy figure still awaiting justice.

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This was 1989 and Donald John Trump was transitioning from property developer to loud-mouthed “celebrity”. Who better to whip up hysteria around the case? Trump took out full-page adverts calling for the death penalty.

In When They See Us, the boys’ distraught parents weep as they watch Trump’s ravings about the case on television. I repeat, this was 1989. How sad for Scotland that a little more research was not done before this bigot, who has caused so much division in American and beyond, was garlanded with hero’s welcomes, planning consents, and honorary degrees.

It’s easy to denounce him now but the evidence was always there for anyone who bothered to look.

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