Donald Trump and U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel
Donald Trump has every right to question the impartiality of a “pro-Mexican” judge presiding over the Trump University lawsuit and doing so does not make him a racist or a bigot of any kind.
The stampede of weak-kneed Republican office-holders tripping over each other in a frenzied rush to denounce the presumptive GOP nominee for president shows how the Left’s pathological ideas about race continue to dominate the thinking even of so-called conservatives who ought to know better. Yell “racist!” and Republicans run for the hills.
As Pat Buchanan opines, “[t]o many liberals, all white Southern males are citizens under eternal suspicion of being racists. The most depressing thing about this episode is to see Republicans rushing to stomp on Trump, to show the left how well they have mastered their liberal catechism.”
To recap, the real estate magnate has said that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, an Indiana-born U.S. citizen whose parents emigrated from Mexico, is issuing unfair rulings against him in a high-profile class-action lawsuit. Trump claims the trial judge’s prejudice relates to his promise to crack down on illegal immigration and build a wall along the border with Mexico to keep illegal aliens out.
Curiel ordered that internal documents from Trump University be made public. The ruling caused elation among reporters, including 20 from the Washington Postwho are digging for dirt about the candidate, as they began fantasizing about winning the Pulitzer Prize for taking down a Republican presidential candidate.
Trump said it is "just common sense" that Curiel’s connections to Mexico explain his anti-Trump rulings.
"He's a member of a club or society very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine. But I say he's got bias," Trump said Sunday. "This judge has treated me very unfairly. He's treated me in a hostile manner, and there's something going on." Trump also said it is “possible” a Muslim judge might also be biased against him because he advocates a temporary ban on the entry of Muslims into the U.S.
Trump is right. Judges can be influenced, sometimes inappropriately, by their life experiences.
Besides, Trump was merely echoing remarks by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a person of Puerto Rican ancestry, who said her ethnicity and upbringing affect her rulings. “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
So if Trump’s comments were racist – and in this writer’s opinion they were not – then so were Sotomayor’s. Sotomayor is met with applause; Trump is met with sputtering vituperation.
Despite the hysterical accusations against Trump coming from politicians in both parties, it needs to be pointed out that he never said that there is something about being Mexican or of Mexican ancestry that makes a person incapable of being an impartial judge. It’s not a congenital or a genetic thing. He said that this particular Obama-appointed judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who belongs to a left-wing Latino lawyers’ group, has an axe to grind because his parents came from Mexico.
Curiel is a member of a group called San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA). SDLRLA’s website identifies National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a race-baiting leftist group that strongly condemns Trump’s immigration policy proposals, as part of its “community.” The group is affiliated with the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) which called Trump “racist” last year for promising to secure the border and vowed to target Trump’s “business interests” with boycotts.
Identity politics and whiny racial grievance-mongering is what SDLRLA and possibly every group with la raza (“the race” in English) in its name is about.
The very concept of la raza is racist, but more on that in a moment.
Trump is right to be concerned about the fact that in 2014, when Curiel certified the class action, he appointed Robbins Geller to act for the plaintiffs. That firm has reportedly shelled out $675,000 in speaking fees since 2009 to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzalez (R), said the circumstances of the case “at least raise a legitimate question to be considered.”
“Regardless of the way Trump has gone about raising his concerns over whether he’s getting a fair trial, none of us should dismiss those concerns out of hand without carefully examining how a defendant in his position might perceive them — and we certainly should not dismiss them for partisan political reasons.”
The litigation deals with consumer complaints regarding the now-defunct Trump University, a pricey 3-day seminar about selling real estate. The plaintiffs allege that the school was a scam but plenty of former students give it top marks.
It’s not like Trump can blow off questions about the case because it is before the courts. The legal case has become a political issue and Trump is absolutely entitled to defend himself. His opponents bark endlessly about it every day. During primary season, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called it a “fake university” and used it to support his argument that Trump was a “con artist.”
The presidential campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton has been pounding Trump for days. “Trump U is devastating because it’s a metaphor for his whole campaign: promising hardworking Americans a way to get ahead, but all based on lies,” campaign press secretary Brian Fallon wrote on Twitter.
The great irony in all of this is that the left-wing Latino groups accusing Trump of racism are the real racists.
Created by the far-left Ford Foundation in 1968, the National Council of La Raza argues that la raza “is an inclusive concept, meaning that Hispanics share with all other peoples of the world a common heritage and destiny.” President Janet Murguia claimsla raza “simply refers to the Hispanic people and it is a nod to our common heritage.”
Similarly, the SDLRLA claimsla raza means “the people” or “the community.”
According to Google Translate, the Spanish noun raza means “race, breed, colorcast.” If these radical groups wanted to express the idea of “people” in their names they could have chosen gente, pueblo, personas, habitantes, nación, or súbditos. For “community,” they could have selected comunidad, colectividad, sociedad, común, union, ormancomunidad.
Of course, Murguia and Judge Curiel’s group are lying. La raza can be translated as “the master race,” and the concept of the “Hispanic” was only invented in 1972 by President Richard Nixon, four years after NCLR was founded.
As Mark Krikorian of the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has explained, the concept of la razaemerged as Nazism gained steam in the 1920s and was the brainchild of former Mexican secretary of public education Jose Vasconcelos. The politician and thinker has been called the “cultural caudillo” of the Mexican Revolution.
La raza “can be traced to the ideas and writings of Jose Vasconcelos, the Mexican theorist who developed the theory of la raza cosmica (the cosmic or super race) at least partially as a minority reaction to the Nordic notions of racial superiority,” New Mexico Highlands University professors Guillermo Lux (history) and Maurilio Vigil (political science) wrote.
“Vasconelos developed a systematic theory which argued that climatic and geographic conditions and mixture of Spanish and Indian races created a superior race. The concept of La Raza connotes that the mestizo is a distinct race and not Caucasian, as is technically the case.”
(Mestizo, by the way, is a Spanish word used in Latin America to refer to someone who is of mixed race, usually the child of a person of Spanish descent and an American Indian. One third of U.S. Hispanics identify as mixed-race while mestizos “represent a racial majority in Mexico[.]”)
So la raza really does mean “the Master Race, but rather than based on notions of racial purity, La Raza’s inherent, biological superiority is based on its hybridity, on the mixing in Latin America of, in Vasconcelos’s words, ‘the black, the Indian, the Mongol, and the white,’” writes Krikorian. La raza really means that “Hispanics, and specifically Mestizos, are superior to those of us unfortunate enough not to be part of the cosmic race.”
La raza “was a source of pride for many Latinos, the most militant of whom adopted the motto: ‘Por la raza todo, fuera de la raza nada’ — ‘For the race, everything, outside the race, nothing,’" according to Jerry Kammer, also of CIS. This la raza ideology animates the reconquista movement which aspires to return the territory the U.S. took from Mexico to Mexican sovereignty. Some radicals wish to recreate Aztlan.
A hero of the Left, labor organizer Cesar Chavez, a natural born American of Mexican ancestry, thoughtla raza was a dangerous, un-American concept.
“I hear about la raza more and more,” he said.
“Some people don’t look at it as racism, but when you say ‘la raza,’ you are saying an anti-gringo thing, and our fear is that it won’t stop there. Today it’s anti-gringo, tomorrow it will be anti-Negro, and the day after it will be anti-Filipino, anti-Puerto Rican. And then it will be anti-poor-Mexican, and anti-darker-skinned Mexican.”
That Chavez viewed this kind of Mexican race-consciousness as destructive was reinforced by his lieutenant LeRoy Chatfield around 1970.
"Everyone should be proud of what they are, of course, but race is only skin-deep. It's phony and it comes out of frustration; the la raza people are not secure. … He said to me just the other day, 'Can't they understand that that's just the way Hitler started?' A few months ago the Ford Foundation funded a la raza group and Cesar really told them off. The foundation liked the outfit's sense of pride or something, and Cesar tried to explain to them what the origin of the word was, that it's related to Hitler's concept."
Donald Trump may not even realize just how right he happens to be.