This is what overt racism looks like

Ironic then that Trump refers to Judge Curiel as a “hater.”

Racism is one of those words so ugly that people will contort all logic to deny its existence, especially when it comes to themselves. So I was THRILLED when Leon Wolf, in the ultraconservative website Red State, wrote on 3 June: “This is What Overt Racism Looks Like.”
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I am sorry, but there is nothing else to call this. The Wall Street Journal has… released an interview with Donald Trump in which Trump explains his repeated and continued attacks on Gonzalo Curiel, the judge assigned to the Trump University case. Curiel’s decision to release records related to the case in response to a public interest request filed by the Washington Post has clearly infuriated Trump…

In a rambling tirade against the judge…, Trump said, among other things, that Curiel was “a Mexican, we think.” (Curiel, as it happens, is from the Chicago area, but his parents are of Mexican heritage.) The WSJ finally got around to asking Trump the question that should have been asked from the first moment he mentioned the judge’s ethnicity, which was actually a couple months ago when Curiel refused to dismiss the case on summary judgment. That question, of course, is “Why would you bring up the judge’s ethnicity at all?”

An excellent question. Note that NOW Trump says his words were misconstrued. I call BS.

Trump’s answer was, shall we say, revealing:

…Mr. Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the litigation given that he was “of Mexican heritage” and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border. “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Mr. Trump said.

So, because the judge is of the same ethnicity as the people who would be presumably kept out of the United States by a wall, he clearly cannot be fair and impartial. Donald Trump is suggesting an ethnic litmus test for federal judges.

Think about what Trump is saying for a minute. Forget that Trump himself repeatedly bragged on the primary campaign trail that he would win the Hispanic vote and focus on what he is now saying: he is saying that no Hispanic person on earth can be trusted to give him a fair hearing. He is saying that no one – even a Mexican born in America – can be trusted rule impartially in accordance with the law simply because of Trump’s stance on whether there ought to be a wall on the Southern border.

This was not a slip of the tongue that he walked back. In fact, on CBS’s Face the Nation this past Sunday, he confirmed his intent.

Keep in mind, Curiel himself is not an illegal immigrant, or even an immigrant. I have no idea whether his parents were even immigrants or illegal immigrants. They are of Mexican heritage, therefore he cannot be trusted to pass judgment on Trump, who supports a wall on the Mexican border.

Look, there’s no other way to say this: that’s just overt racism. Saying that this guy has a “conflict of interest” against Trump solely based on his Mexican heritage is also an accidental admission on Trump’s part that he is opposed to Mexicans.

And THAT is what racism looks like in this modern world. It’s not separate water fountains or derogatory names. It’s suggesting that a judge of an ethnic minority, at least when he’s in conflict with Trump, cannot be trusted to give a fair hearing on an issue that affects his tribe.

Might not a white male be biased IN FAVOR of the wall? And how would you measure this? Or is that one should automatically disqualify women judges in cases of contraception, black judges in any case about racial discrimination, LGBT judges in gay equality cases, any judge that isn’t a Christian in the separation of church and state doctrine, et al.? The implication is that the non-minority (or man) would be MORE fair, somehow, makes no sense to me.

Or should we ban white judges from trials involving white defendants?

It is ironic then that Trump refers to Judge Curiel as a “hater.” Because it is the Republican nominee for President who’s showing the disdain. In the short term, painting the attributes of oneself onto another may work in the short term, but is generally rooted out.

“I love Hispanics!” is a weird thing to say about a group of people who you say are inherently untrustworthy when it comes to anything they say about you, Mr. Trump.

He’s not dog whistling it any more. He’s not doing the wink-and-nod thing. He’s flat out saying: you cannot trust anything this guy says about me because he’s a Mexican. If that isn’t racism, I don’t know what is.

In the comments, in the various news columns about this story, several people have said, “But Trump has a point.” Yes, the “point” is that Trump is making racist observations, and one rationalizing their legitimacy means those commenters ought to check their own biases.

No, he’s not really going to build a wall, and let Mexico pay for it. He will not be able to get every Muslim to be blocked at the border. But he has made it the norm to be racist and to vent these kinds of un-American things.

Yet the Republican leaders reacted to Trump’s most recent racist rantings as though they came “totally out of left field,” when it’s been consistent with his message literally since he announced for president. The question is whether the party will continue to disavow their candidate’s bigotry.

And Trump may be interfering with the due process of the legal proceeding. The judge cannot comment on the case, per the code of conduct. HuffPo says: “Legal scholars said Trump could face consequences for slamming the judge, although many have speculated that Curiel was unlikely to sanction him formally.” The judge can, but probably WON’T slap down Trump because it’ll be seen by others through both a political and racial lens.


Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

7 thoughts on “This is what overt racism looks like”

  1. I can’t understand how anyone can look at that and not go, “holy crap, that Trump’s REALLY racist!” It’s more than just that of course—his white privilege, his class privilege, and the sense of entitlement that brings, all along with his severe case of narcissistic personality disorder. BUT, his fawning fans don’t care about any of that, they’d say not just “he has a point”, but also “he says what everyone’s thinking”. But Trump is Trump, and this won’t suddenly stop—he’ll just more frequently claim he was “misquoted” or “misinterpreted”, as all of his ilk do when their worst side is exposed for all to see.

    Trump is dangerous. We all have an obligation to expose him for what he is.

  2. Off-Trump, but another good example: I just saw something on Facebook that showed a white, clean-cut soldier and Muhammad Ali. Under the white guy was “hero” and under Ali was “great boxer.” Okay, fair enough. But the comments! Ali was a “coward” who didn’t want to lose money so he ditched the draft (ignoring the money he lost because of ditching the draft), he was a Muslim dupe, he was a Muslim period, Rocky Marciano (undefeated; white) served in World War 2 … man, the comments (the only reason I saw the meme was because someone I’m friends with commented on it to say that Ali lost quite a bit because of his stance and that we should respect him; it would have been sad if one my Facebook friends had posted it, although I have several conservative one)! It was so obviously racist I could barely believe it (I don’t know who the white guy was, but how do we know he was a “good guy” just because he was a soldier?), but there you have it.

    I was talking to some guy yesterday about Trump, and he was depressed that there seemed to be so much more racism right now because of Trump. I told him that social media makes it easier to see, but I also told him that when society changes, those who want it to remain a certain way become louder and louder, when they wouldn’t have been when things were going their way. I really hope all of this idiocy with regard to Trump is the last gasp of old racists before they all die out. I can live in hope, can’t I?

  3. One of the first articles I ever read about him was the case when he was trying to evict a group of senior citizens from their rent controlled apartments where they had lived for years in Manhattan so he could make them into condos.

  4. Trump surrogate Jeffrey Lord said on CNN, “Speaker Ryan has apparently switched positions and is now supporting identity politics, which is racist. I mean, I am astonished, astonished. I am accusing anybody, anybody, who believes in identity politics, which he apparently now does, of playing the race card. The Republican establishment is playing this. Senator McConnell is playing this. These people have run and hid and borrowed the Democratic agenda of playing the race card. It is wrong….I am saying it is identity politics, and it is racist….Speaker Ryan is playing the race card. It’s got to stop.”

  5. To the ‘party of Lincoln’–in name, only)–you are close to nominating a hash-tag. It’s also stunning that in all of those times he referred to Sen. Rubio as “little Marco”, even during the golden opportunity of televised debates, the Senatorial candidate for President did not ask himself, ‘How many Latin-Americans are tall?’, and seize upon that racism.

  6. Doug- how would one pick up on that particular slight (and Rubio was 5’8″ to 5’10”, not THAT short), when he had cutesy names for almost EVERYBODY?

  7. Just read your comment about Lord calling Ryan “racist.” It’s wildly Orwellian: war is peace, freedom is slavery, racism is tolerance…

    Ignorance is strength…

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