It’s no surprise to discover that people like the Fanjul family, billionaires and big business tycoons, support a candidate like Donald Trump, who has also been known to exploit workers and stiff those who have brought him his fortune. But it seems this Trump supporter also has ties to the KKK.
The Fanjuls are the owners of Florida Crystals sugar, based out of Florida and the Dominican Republic. The company has a history of environmental devastation as well as the exploitation of workers brought into the country to toil under near slavery conditions.
So, it’s no surprise that the sugar baron is a Republican and supports the kind of corporate greed inherent in the campaigns of both Donald Trump, Republican nominee for president, as well as Marco Rubio, the incumbent Florida senator running for re-election against challenger and Democrat Patrick Murphy in November.
What may be a surprise are the ties that the company has to the Ku Klux Klan, the white supremacist group with a long history of domestic terrorism. Pepe Fanjul’s executive assistant, Chloe Black, is also a big supporter of Republican nominees and works for the party in fundraising efforts. Black has been with the Fanjul Corporation for over 35 years and is extremely influential when it comes to coordinating between the company and the important politicians that make their business in Florida possible.
She’s also the former wife of KKK leader David Duke and the current spouse of Don Black, owner of the white supremacist website, StormFront.org. Don Black’s history with white supremacism dates back to his days as a former KKK grand wizard and member of the American Nazi Party.
Chloe Black herself is shown registered as vice president of The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Realm of Louisiana, in state non-profit corporation records as seen in the image below.
Things came to a head for the “nonprofit” group when the Branch Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare in Dallas, Texas, found out that the KKK wanted to hold a meeting at the local Baton Rouge high school, and informed the school board that such a meeting would violate regulations against facilities supported by federal funds to permit use of the facilities by groups that discriminate “against minority group children aged 5 to 17 inclusive, in its admissions or membership policies, or otherwise practices . . . discrimination against such children on the basis of race, color, or national origin . . . .”
According to an October 2010 article in the New York Post’s Page Six, Fanjul refused to fire Black for her ties to the racist group, despite the efforts of he and his company to develop a philanthropic reputation for good works. According to Page Six, Black works with Fanjul’s wife, Emilia, supporting The Glades. Ironically, The Glades is a charter school in Florida that works to help poor children of Latino and African-American descent.
Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, told Page Six:
‘Chloe Black is married to one of the most active white supremacists. We do not understand why she has not been fired by the Fanjul family. Her connections to white supremacists run so deep that it seems unthinkable that she work for a school for minority children.’
Black’s employer, Pepe Fanjul, is a supporter of Donald Trump with very deep pockets indeed, sponsoring the Republican candidate at a high-stakes fundraiser held in the Hamptons over the summer.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Fanjul has also known about Black’s racist activities for years, and believes that the sugar baron isn’t just ignoring them but supports them.
The Fanjul Corporation, specifically Florida Crystal sugar, is known for treating its immigrant workers in a deplorable fashion. A February 2011 article in Vanity Fair exposed “modern-day slavery” treatment of Jamaican workers.
Conditions for workers at the Fanjul plantations were so bad, they were featured in a Canadian documentary in 2005, called “Big Sugar” The storyline for the film states:
‘Workers who live on Central Romano, a Fanjul-owned plantation, go hungry while working 12-hour days to earn $2 (US).’
Just this past January, The New Yorker described conditions for the sugar workers:
‘Over the years, the Fanjuls’ operations in the United States have been fined numerous times for endangering their workers, most of whom, until the mid-nineties, were brought in from Jamaica and often housed in Third World conditions. In 1992, a Florida judge awarded a group of guest workers fifty-one million dollars, ruling that companies owned by the Fanjuls and others had dramatically underpaid them.’
Fanjul responded to a 2008 investigation by the Southern Poverty Law Center by publishing a rebuttal in a local paper, The Palm Beach Post, and denying any discrimination within the company. But Black was set upon by others in the racist movement for her denial of involvement in her husband’s website. Black said:
‘I am not involved with the Web site and do not agree with extremist or racially prejudiced views.’
This resulted in Chloe Black being labeled as a sellout by other neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
Despite her statement, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Chloe Black is still active in the KKK and has attended several Stormfront Summit conferences and annual Knights of the Ku Klux Klan “Faith and Freedom Conferences.”
Featured image via Getty Images