Donald Trump has quite a knack for choosing advisors with, to put it mildly, controversial records on issues of race. Whether it's would-be Attorney General Jeff Sessions, chief strategist Steve Bannon, or national security advisor Michael Flynn, the president-elect's choices have had very checkered histories when dealing with racial and religious minorities.
Now, Trump is apparently continuing that tradition with one of his newest appointments, assistant to the president for Intergovernmental and Technology Initiatives Reed Cordish. The Daily Beast reports that Cordish's family corporation, Cordish Companies, has faced multiple lawsuits accusing businesses it owns of horrific racist practices.
Cordish Companies subsidiary Entertainment Concepts Investors, of which Reed is the president, owns and runs nightspots all over the country. The biggest holdings are in Kansas City's Power and Light District (nicknamed "Power and White District" by patrons all-too-aware of the area's discriminatory practices).
One of the lawsuits against Cordish Companies claims that there was an organized plan to "lighten up" their nightspots. The most horrifying part of this effort involved "rabbits." Christina Martinez, a former manager at a Cordish club, testified about the practice:
"A 'rabbit' was a white kid who got free drinks to go around the District, do whatever he wanted, so long as he singled out blacks and started confrontations with them," she said. One former rabbit, Thomas Alexitch, confirmed the scheme in a sworn affadavit. He said that he earned up to $150 a night, in addition to free drinks.
There have been reports of Cordish-owned nightspots engaging in similar practices in St. Louis as well. So far, neither Reed Cordish nor Cordish Companies have commented on the Daily Beast's report.