I guess there are just some things I don’t understand. The furor over Donald Trump’s comments about this judge in his Trump University case is one of them. The judge in question is U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel. He is a member of La Raza Lawyers of San Diego. The claim that this organization is not affiliated with the National Council of La Raza is implausible. How many organizations sport the name La Raza? It’s not like it’s some common name like the Chamber of Commerce.
It’s also important to understand what La Raza means. Literally translated, it means The Race. Anyone who joins an organization called The Race could logically be seen as a racist, yet Donald Trump is the one being portrayed as the racist. Why? Because he dared say, “The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that’s fine.” I instantly got it. I’m Donald Trump and I’m going to build a wall on the Mexican border. Every Mexican leader has condemned me, and now I have a guy of Mexican decent who’s a liberal and a Hillary supporter presiding over my trial. I don’t think I can get a fair trial.
Sen. Ben Sasse went so far as to tweet, “Saying someone can’t do a specific job because of his or her race is the literal definition of ‘racism.’” You see, the insinuation is that Trump wants Curiel thrown off his case because he’s Mexican. He wants Curiel thrown off his case because he believes he’s biased against him.
Former attorney general and now law professor, Alberto Gonzales, wrote in the Washington Post, “The test is whether there is an ‘appearance of impropriety’ under the facts as they reasonably appear to a litigant in Trump’s position.” In other words, does Trump really believe he can’t get a fair shake with a man who puts his race above all else and is a known Hillary supporter?
What’s most maddening is to see all of these Republican line up to condemn Trump’s comments. They feign righteous indignation over Trump having gone after a federal judge as if they’re beyond reproach. These are some of the same people who have decried activist judges on the left for decades. All of a sudden, Judge Curiel is as pure as the wind-driven snow.
Of course, the news media piled on. Trump was asked on CBS News’ Face the Nation if he believed a Muslim judge would treat him unfairly because of his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country. “It’s possible, yes,” Trump replied. OMG! The news folks went nuts. Well, of course it’s possible a Muslim judge would treat him unfairly over that issue. I’d say it’s not only possible, it’s probable.
The CBS host asked, “Isn’t there sort of a tradition though in America that we don’t judge people by who their parents were and where they came from?” Trump responded, “I’m not talking about tradition. I’m talking about common sense.”
That seems to be sorely lacking. If the centerpiece of your campaign is building a wall on the Mexican border then the heritage of a judge adjudicating your case is an issue, as is his affiliation with the party that opposes you. Not to mention, he’s a member of a racist organization.
If Trump’s central issue were keeping the Irish Republican Army out of the U.S. wouldn’t it stand to reason that a Judge named Gerry O’Brien who’s a member of Sinn Fein might be biased against him?
Let’s use our brains, folks, not our emotions.
Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.