Over the course of Barack Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office, Republicans have steadily made being blatantly racist wildly popular among far too many Americans. All that pre-production work accomplished was conditioning the nation for a racist like Donald Trump who abandoned the use of Republican’s typical dog whistles and innuendos and went all in portraying non-whites as a plague on America. No group has suffered Trump’s racist assaults more than Hispanics, and the Donald feels emboldened enough to extend his racial attacks on a federal district court judge in California as part of his presidential campaign.
The Wall Street Journal reported that during a campaign stop in California, Trump spent a full 12 minutes of a 58-minute speech on an “extended tirade” focused on the Trump University fraud case. Part and parcel of the racial rant was Trump once again taking particular exception to judge from California, the judge’s race, and that he was appointed by an African American President; it’s not too difficult to discern exactly what his objection really is.
One doesn’t have to think too hard to surmise that Trump’s problem is not necessarily with the Judge from California, his racial heritage, or the sitting President who nominated him; his objection is being challenged for defrauding thousands of Americans. The fact that the Judge is an Hispanic man is just another dog whistle Trump uses to incite his nasty nativist supporters.
The Donald believes, and is ramping up his rhetoric, that because the former federal prosecutor who took on Mexican drug cartels was appointed by President Barack Obama, “might be a Hispanic,” is a “hater,” and “probably is a Mexican” that he is out to get Donald Trump. Worst of all, Trump tells his audience; the California judge “should be ashamed of himself.” Why? For being a Mexican, not obeying “the Donald,” and for being a federal judge? A judge, by the way, who was easily confirmed by a voice vote with no opposition whatsoever, not even from Republicans after being nominated by President Obama.
During the 12-minute rant Trump told his racist supporters that federal district court Judge Gonzalo Curiel should be removed from the case against him over his “pretend” university’s fraud because he was appointed to the bench by President Obama and Trump “believes Curiel is Mexican;” a remark that drew a wild chorus of boos from the racist crowd. At an Alabama rally previously, Trump told racist supporters that this case should have been thrown out years ago, “but because it was me and because there’s a hostility toward me by the judge – tremendous hostility – beyond belief,” the one-of-several lawsuits is going forward.
In San Diego Trump continued his ill-advised attacks on a federal judge and said,
“I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel. I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself.”
The latest outburst is not Trump’s first attack on the Judge, and it is apparent that he knows nothing whatsoever about the man or he wouldn’t be openly questioning the integrity of the federal jurist. Judge Curiel was a highly regarded federal prosecutor under the George H.W. Bush and after unflinching attacks on the drug cartels, is considered by many to be “a genuine badass.” After taking every kind of death threat and intimidation by Mexican drug lords, Judge Curiel is certainly not going to be intimidated by the likes of Donald Trump.
In fact, on the same day, Friday, that Trump was railing against the Judge in San Diego, Judge Curiel ordered all “internal Trump University documents to be released as part of the class-action lawsuit ‘alleging’ the now-defunct ‘business venture’ owned by the presumptive GOP nominee defrauded students.” The Judge also got a back-handed slap at Trump by referencing his bitching about a civil lawsuit during a presidential campaign. He noted that,
“Trump is the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential race, and has placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue.”
It is noteworthy that the class-action suit against the scam disguised as a university is not Trump’s first encounter with the criminal justice system over defrauding students out of millions-of-dollars. In fact, according to Think Progress Trump University, “which was not actually an accredited university and did not hand out degrees,” has several fraud cases proceeding against it.
One of the fraud proceedings began in 2013 when New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Trump University alleging it was a fraud and had fleeced 5,000 people out of millions of dollars. After Trump made his racist statements about Judge Curiel, Mr. Schneiderman issued a statement saying,
“I will not engage in a debate about an ongoing litigation. But there is no place in this process for racial demagoguery directed at respected members of the judiciary.”
Schneiderman then noted that according to a New York state Supreme Court ruling, Trump University was a fraud and “operated illegally in New York as an unlicensed educational institution.”
According to complaints against Trump’s “now defunct company,” the victims accused it, and by virtue of ownership Donald Trump, of scamming students by misleading them into paying handsomely for insight from a highly-qualified staff of “business experts” they were told were “hand-picked” by Donald Trump. The plaintiffs in the class-action case before Judge Curiel assert that they were lied to and scammed into paying up to $35,000 for expert real estate advice at Trump University.
However, the so-called “business expert professors” who were said to be personally vetted by Donald Trump himself all had dubious credentials; they certainly were not “professors.” It appears that Trump not only did not personally vet the professors, according to his own depositions in the case last December he failed to recognize even a single name of any of the so-called “expert professors” instructing students at his University.
The good news for the media is that Trump will have “his” day in court and a face-to-face with the “Mexican” hater judge Trump continues demonizing, in late November when the lawsuit goes to trial in San Diego federal court, after the election. According to his lawyer, Donald Trump plans on testifying before a jury and one can only imagine how the fraudster con-man’s bullying will play in a federal court.
Donald Trump is a masterful media manipulator; of that there is little dispute. However, his racist attacks on a highly-respected federal District Court Judge cannot possibly be regarded as masterful. Trump has not done anything to endear himself to Hispanic Americans, and he apparently could not care less if they despise him or not, even if he needs their support to win in November.
Trump should count himself extremely fortunate that he picked on a “tougher-than-nails” federal judge, because no matter how nasty and racially-offensive Trumps’ attacks on Judge Curiel are, the Judge’s integrity guarantees that Trump will get a fair hearing and trial. It is more than he deserves and more than he affords anyone who refuses to kiss his ass or throw out lawsuits on the grounds that Donald Trump is untouchable.