Monday, 06 June 2016 09:30
Trump's Judge Curiel "La Raza" membership, an issue
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San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association.

Reports indicate that U.S. Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing the Trump University lawsuit, is a member of “La Raza.”

Now, lawyers join all kinds of things, but lawyers who become judges are supposed to maybe be a little less...political.

This is one reason that Donald Trump, in a frank answer to a journalist’s question about the lawsuit Trump University is facing before Judge Curiel, answered that he felt Judge Curiel had unfairly decided against him on a summary judgment motion.  Trump also said that Judge Curiel was “Mexican” and belonged to “an organization.”

That “organization” is “La Raza”– as in “Race.”  And when you capitalize it, as “La Raza” does, it looks like “Super Race.”

And then, whooosh!

Everybody freaked out!

And everybody who’d been kinda sorta “okay” with Trump started, oh, what is the word...disassociating themselves, saying that Judge Curiel is an American, born in Indiana.

But again, one has to read between the lines just a bit to ease out the truth.

And while the truth isn’t immediately apparent, what is clear is that there are some questions that are fair to ask.  The New York Times claims that Curiel’s father came to the United States, but doesn’t say when, exactly.  The Times claims Curiel’s mother married his father in Mexico, and while the couple lived in the United States and had children here, the date they obtained citizenship isn’t mentioned.

A fundamental issue on immigration that Trump and his supporters address is the phenomenon of illegal aliens living and working in the United States, and anchoring their illegal residency with children who are born here, who have citizenship through birth.

Does this situation have any far-reaching social effects?

We are always told about how well most “anchor babies” do.  But do such “anchor babies” feel more “American” as in the land of their birth?  Or do they associate more strongly with the land of their heritage– the land of their parents’ birth?

It’s the “La Raza” part that makes you think.

“La Raza” means “race” in Spanish.  Not the kind of “race” you run, or a presidential “race” like Trump is running, but “race” as in, put crudely, black, white, other.

“Race” is a term that meant a lot in the days before World War II, but it means practically nothing now.  Is President Barak Obama a member of the “black” race through his dark-skinned Kenyan father?  Or is he a member of the “white” race through his white-skinned American mother?

Just open your eyes and take a good look, and you will see how ridiculous a racial designation is, and continues to be.

But when people actively take hold of those qualities they believe designate them as members of a particular “race” and start using “race” to set themselves apart from others, well, then, it is hard to complain that, suddenly, people aren’t calling you “American” anymore, but “Hispanic American” or “Mexican American.”

Because that is what “La Raza” is all about.

Call it, more accurately, “The San Diego Racial Lawyers Association.”  

Because that is what it means in English.

“La Raza” does not stand for “American,” as in one’s nationality.

And that is okay, to an extent.  There are African American lawyers’ associations and all manner of ethnicities and “races.”  But the La Raza Lawyers Association means a bit more than simply being proud of one’s “racial heritage”– whatever that term may mean.  And honestly, if white lawyers got together and decided to create a “Great White Race” Lawyers Association, there would be more than just a few eyebrows raised.

Reports indicate that “La Raza” actually promotes an agenda of defying and thwarting the immigration and naturalization laws of the United States of....America– as in, the laws that technically apply to all Americans.  And naturally, “La Raza’s” efforts are aimed to assist...well, to assist Mexicans.  And in some cases, reportedly, to assist Mexicans with not just changing American laws, but with creating a kind of support system for illegal immigrants and their children who are born here.

Is that fair and impartial?

It’s a fair question, and a key question, and...


Everybody’s freaking out!


Sarah Whalen

sarahw2Sarah Whalen is a university journalism instructor, attorney and author.

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