Latino media figures are criticizing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his “racist,” “highly offensive” assertion that the federal judge presiding over two civil lawsuits against the defunct Trump University, Judge Gonzalo Curiel, is biased against him because of his Mexican heritage.
Trump Says Judge Overseeing Trump University Case Should Recuse Himself Because He's “Of Mexican Heritage”
Trump: “Mexican” Judge In Trump U. Case Is Being “Extremely Unfair” Because “We’re Building A Wall Between Here And Mexico.” For months, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has attacked Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over two lawsuits claiming that the defunct real estate seminar business Trump University made false promises to its customers. Trump has repeatedly suggested that the Indiana-born Judge Curiel’s Mexican heritage makes it impossible for him to rule fairly because of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies. NBC’s Meet the Press compiled some of Trump’s attacks in a July 5 video montage:
DONALD TRUMP: I believe he happens to be Spanish, which is fine. He's Hispanic, which is fine.
TRUMP: I think he has been very, very unfair with us. I think the judge has been extremely unfair.
TRUMP: The judges in this court system, federal court, they ought to look into Judge Curiel, because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace.
TRUMP: He's a Mexican. We're building a wall between here and Mexico. [NBC, Meet the Press, 6/5/16]
Latino Media Figures Call Trump's Comments “Racism” And “Highly Offensive”
CNN Contributor Ana Navarro: “It Is Highly Offensive, As A Hispanic.” Republican strategist and CNN commentator Ana Navarro told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Trump's attacks on a judge's ethnicity are “highly offensive as a Hispanic” and that what Trump “is doing is disgusting.” Navarro added, “if this is his strategy to win over Hispanics, he's got a hell of a wake-up call coming to him come November.” From the June 3 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
ANA NAVARRO: And I've got to tell you, I'm a lawyer. I'm also a Hispanic. I agree with absolutely everything that Michael Smerconish just said. It is offensive from a legal perspective. It is highly offensive, as a Hispanic. What he is doing is wagging the dog. He is trying to distract from the fact that he has got a problem with a case where there are allegations that his business is a scam and a fraud. How dare he, how dare he question a judge's responsibility, a judge's adherence to the Constitution because he's of Mexican descent? This man was born in east Chicago. He is an American citizen. He is just as American as Donald Trump. Mexican-Americans bleed just as any other American when they go to war. They bled just as any other American on 9/11. They fight for America, they are Americans. And what he is doing is disgusting. I'm livid about it and if this is his strategy to win over Hispanics, he's got a hell of a wake-up call coming to him come November. [CNN, The Situation Room, 6/3/16]
Univision And Fusion Anchor Jorge Ramos: Disqualifying “Anybody Simply Because Of Their Ethnicity" Is Racism. In a series of tweets, Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos said, “If you reject, disqualify or criticize anybody simply because of their ethnicity, it is racism" and slammed Trump for attacking four prominent Latinos in the same week. He reiterated his theory that “no one can make it” to the White House “without the Latino vote:”
Voto Latino's Maria Teresa Kumar: “Mexican Is Not A Dirty Word. It's One Of Pride, Hard Work. But We Are Hearing The Dog Whistle Loud & Clear.”
Telemundo's José Díaz-Balart: “At All Times” Trump Is Focused On Attacking Latinos. Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart pointed out Trump had attacked two Latino journalists, Jim Acosta and Tom Llamas, before attacking Judge Curiel's ethnicity. Díaz-Balart said, “at all times he's focused on that.” Translated from the June 5 edition of Telemundo's Enfoque:
JOSE DIAZ-BALART (HOST): This perspective you're adding, Don Fabián, we saw it for example this same week when on a press conference about fundraising for veterans, Donald Trump insulted the press, but specifically, pointed to two people, CNN's Jim Acosta, Latino, and ABC's Tom Llamas, Latino. And now, he's talking about the judge who is presiding over the case against Trump University. He says, “he's Mexican. At all times, he's focused on that, Ana. [Telemundo, Enfoque, 6/5/16]
Univision's Enrique Acevedo: “If Race Represents A Conflict Of Interest In Our Judiciary, Should Female Judges Rule On Women's Issues? Evangelicals On Religious Freedoms?”
Univision's Maria Elena Salinas Tweets Trump Is “Racist.” While commending Ana Navarro for speaking out against Trump's attacks on Judge Curiel's heritage, Univision's anchor Maria Elena Salinas tweeted two hashtags, "#yaestuvobueno," which translates as “enough is enough,” and #eltipoesracista, which translates as “the guy is racist:”