Trump Needs to Apologize to Judge Curiel

Donald Trump’s attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel is despicable. Saying that someone has an “inherent conflict of interest” because of their heritage is pretty much a textbook example of racism. It seems like any semblance of a fig leaf that Trump’s rhetoric is about immigration and his wall rather than animus toward an entire community of 55 million has been blown away.

For the record, Judge Gonzalo Curiel was a member of La Raza Lawyers Association, a respected network of local bar associations of Latino lawyers and judges in California. We are the National Council of La Raza, a different group and the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

There are in fact hundreds if not thousands of organizations, media outlets, and associations that use “La Raza.” There is nothing nefarious about the use of this term. It simply refers to the Hispanic people and it is a nod to our common heritage. But apparently that heritage is the reason Donald Trump believes he cannot get a fair shake from Judge Curiel. It brings back awful memories of more than a few people saying that Thurgood Marshall should not have been the first African-American Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court because of his long and storied involvement in the civil rights movement.

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