Judge Curial. Funny, he looks white to me…
“Everybody says it, but I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curial… We are in front of a very hostile judge. The judge was appointed by by Barack Obama – federal judge. [Boos]. Frankly he should recuse himself. He has given us ruling after ruling, negative, negative, negative. I have a top lawyer who said he has never seen anything like this before. So what happens is we get sued. We have a Magistrate named William Gallo who truly hates us..Watch how we win it as I have been treated unfairly. . . . So what happens is the judge, who happens to be, we believe Mexican, which is great. I think that is fine. You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs. I think they are going to love it. I think they are going to love me. . .I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself. I think it is a disgrace he is doing this… It is a disgrace. It is a rigged system…They ought to look into Judge Curiel because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace. “
This is what Donald Trump said about Mexican-American judge Gonzalo Curial, who is currently presiding over the civil law suit involving now-defunct Trump University. That is all of it, with the rest being general Trump-speak.
The initial reaction in the news media and from the anti-Trump legal commentators (that is, essentially all legal commentators except the ones who have to eat alone at their law school dining rooms) was that Trump’s entire rant that contained the sentiments above were a threat to the rule of law and judicial independence. As I explained here, that was both hyperbole and a double standard.
It also, as I expected, was far too technical a complaint for the average voter to understand or get upset about, even if it had been valid and fair, which it wasn’t. So the anti-Trump forces, which are mighty and legion, decide to shift gears, and rather than attack the statement as a threat to the Constitution, condemn it as “racist.” It was so racist that Buzzfeed decided that it could get brownie points by pulling out of an ad deal it had made with the Republican Party by professing revulsion at the party’s presumptive nominee’s “racism.”
The news media has now decided that it is just a fact that Trump’s comments about the judge were “racist.” That’s how the topic is being discussed. Nobody looks at the statement that sparked this nonsense: Trump said something racist, and that’s all there is to it.
Except that he didn’t.
I can’t keep track of all of the subsequent statements Trump has made or will make to defend himself. Since he talks like a stream of consciousness novel written by a Red Bull-guzzling cab driver, he may have said or will say something that is more inflammatory than the statement being attacked; remember, the man literally doesn’t know what is going to come out of his mouth until he hears it. For now, I’m going to stick to the statement that started this.
1. He said that Judge Curiel “was a hater.”
2. He implied that he was biased against Trump, and that this was a “disgrace.”
3. He said, in what I am certain was one of those examples where Trump’s tongue got the jump on his brain, that “we believe” the judge was “Mexican.”
4. He said that the system “was rigged,”that Judge Curiel should recuse himself, and that Curiel should be ashamed.
None of that constitutes a “racist” statement. It does not even constitute a bigoted statement, and it is in no way the magnitude of offense the Democrats, media and Trump opponents are claiming, indeed, stating it to be.
Before I list the ethics touch-points in this disturbing event (the event being a news media lynch mob devoid of proportion or fairness controlling the discussion and misrepresenting a Presidential candidate), let me make this clear, as if I hadn’t already in dozens of Ethics Alarms posts: Continue reading