04 June 2016

On Racism

Trump's strategy to be himself in the primaries worked. Barely.  He didn't get a majority of Republican voters and he has really high unfavorable ratings.  Republican leaders are largely wishy-washy about him or totally against him.  He needs to broaden his base.  So why in the world does he continue to say things that further alienate Republicans who are concerned about him and that don't really persuade independents to vote for him?  Especially about people that do not matter in this race?

The latest horribleness has been about the judge in the Trump University case.  Trump, not surprisingly, disagrees with the judge and his rulings so far.  If he didn't, there wouldn't be a case anymore since Trump thinks it should have been dismissed a long time ago. But he has gone far beyond being irritated that things aren't going his way in the case.  He is saying that the judge shouldn't be over the case because "he is Mexican" and Trump is "building a wall."

First, Trump should not be using the word "Mexican" as a pejorative. His words are an attempt to portray people who, are Mexican, either by citizenship or by heritage, in a negative light.  He refuses to acknowledge that the judge is American.  He is only Mexican in Trump's words. When Latinos are a huge voting population in the US, this is idiocy, even if most Latino Americans aren't ethically Mexican.  We need to entirely end the negative connotations of the word Mexican.  Now.

Second, it is inherently racist to state that a person cannot do a job because of their ethnicity (acting jobs are the only exception I can think of) but Trump is arguing just that.  Since Trump is building a wall, a Mexican-American judge must be inherently biased against him, according to this argument.  Can we think this through to its logical conclusion?  I've heard people saying this is like saying an African-American judge shouldn't hear a discrimination  case, but it is so much worse that that. This case has nothing to do with anything related to being Mexican. Instead, the implication here is that no judge with Mexican heritage should hear a case with a defendant who is opposed to, for example, deporting undocumented workers.

Does that mean that Mexican-American judges need to keep a list of people in the country who are opposed to immigration from Mexico (no matter the personal opinions of the judge) so they can recuse themselves in case one of those people is a defendant in a case? Do African-American judges need to ask defendants their feelings about Black Lives Matter so the judge (again, no matter her or his personal opinion on the issue) can determine if they can hear the case? Should Muslim judges find out if the litigants think Muslims should be banned from entering the US so they can sit out if necessary? Trump seems to think so.  And he has explicitly stated that he does not think his suggestion that the judge recuse himself because of his Mexican heritage is racist.  Friends, that is the very definition of racism.

I've said this over and over, but this is yet another example of how concerning Trump's ideas are.

I honestly do not think this is helping the man.  I guess we're thoroughly testing the idea that there's no such thing as bad publicity. Or that he believes that the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

Here's the ABA statement:

While publicly criticizing judicial decisions is every person’s constitutional right, levying personal criticism at an individual judge and suggesting punitive action against that judge for lawfully made decisions crosses the line of propriety and risks undermining judicial independence. Anyone running for the highest office in the land should understand that the independence of the judiciary is essential for an effective and orderly government and justice system.

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