Today, The New York Times tore into Donald Trump’s racist attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Instead of attacking Curiel for his association with a pro-illegal immigration organization, Trump went directly at Curiel’s ethnicity, claiming that his Mexican parentage (he was born in Indiana) made him unfit to serve as a judge on the Trump University case.
Here’s The Times:
Federal judges have repeatedly and emphatically refused to recuse themselves from cases because of their race or ethnicity. These rulings were driven by two realizations: Ethnically based challenges would reduce every judge to a racial category, which would be racist in itself. And such challenges would make judges vulnerable to recusal motions — for reasons of race, ethnicity, gender or religion — in every case that came before them…. once it started, the ethnic cleansing of the court system could be made to apply to any unpopular group at any time. Mr. Trump is essentially arguing that his own bigoted attitude toward Mexicans has disqualified a respected jurist from hearing a court case in which he is a defendant.
This is correct.
But we have to ask: did the Times just realize that discrimination for or against judges on the basis of race is racist?
I understand why members of the right are upset with Trump. We believe that ethnicity and race are irrelevant to your quality as a human being. We don’t care whether your parents were Mexican, Irish, or Armenian – we just care whether you are a good human being doing good work.
But the left doesn’t hold by that same standard.
The left routinely suggests that white cops are unable to objectively police minority communities. And when President Obama nominated now-Justice Sonia Sotomayor, news quickly broke of a lecture she had given in 2001 in which she labeled herself better qualified for the judiciary by dint of her status as a “wise Latina woman.” This is racism. Ethnicity does not make you a better judge, of course. But it was one of the chief qualifiers for the Times, which defended Sotomayor’s comments and excoriated her critics:
The first Hispanic nominee to the court is being called racist. She is being attacked as not smart enough, as too abrasive (a description often applied to women who speak their minds in public life). There have even been reports that critics have taken aim at her taste for Puerto Rican food….The context matters: she was pointing out that throughout history even esteemed white male justices like Oliver Wendell Holmes voted to uphold race and sex discrimination. She said accidents of birth inform people’s views, but judges must strive to look beyond them….Some of Judge Sotomayor’s detractors seem uncomfortable with her Puerto Rican heritage.
In other words, racism is okay when it comes from the left – when “diversity” is used as code for ethnic cleansing of whites from the judiciary. But when the reverse is stated, then it must be called out.
It should be called out in both cases. There are those like the racist panderer Pat Buchanan, who thinks that the left’s racism justifies his own, and defends Trump’s comments on those grounds:
To 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.
Fighting racism is not a “liberal catechism.” It’s the right thing to do. But because there are racists on both sides, racism is now returning with a vengeance – Buchananite “what’s good for them is good for us” revenge racism, and the left’s “diversity over merit” racism.