Donald Trump is someone who consistently puts his foot in his mouth. It seems that every other sentence is an ad hominem attack on some race, gender or religion. This has become even more apparent with his attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the presiding judge in his Trump University case. He called into question the judge’s integrity because the judge in question, Judge Gonzalo Curiel, is Hispanic. Trump brings into question the impartiality of the judge saying, “This judge is of Mexican heritage, and I’m building a wall!” Whenever he is questioned about his racism toward Mexicans, he simply says “I’m building a wall”.
These statements about Mexican judges has enrages members of the US Congress. Even Paul Ryan came out against Donald Trump, saying, “Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort-of like the textbook definition of a racist comment”.
But the most intense criticism of these comments came from US Congressman Filemon Vela, a congressman from Texas. He published a long letter to Donald Trump. The highlight was when he said, “Mr. Trump, you’re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it up your a**“. The letter said:
- He first agreed with Trump’s position on the treatment of veterans
- He agreed that the State Department needs to be more aggressive in addressing cartel violence.
- He then says, “However, your ignorant anti-immigrant opinions, your border wall rhetoric, and your recent bigoted attack on an American jurist are just plain despicable.”
- He brought up Mexican-American war heroes such as Master Sergeant Jose Lopez, who received a Medal of Honor for his actions in World War II, as well as Master Sergeant Roy Benavides , who received the Medal of Honor from President Reagan for his service in Vietnam, sustaining 37 bullet and shrapnel wounds while continuing to fight for America.
- To mitigate the counter attacks, Representative Vela says that “Before you dismiss me as just another “Mexican,” let me point out that my great-great grandfather came to this country in 1857, well before your own grandfather.“
Donald’s Spotty Past with Hispanics
Donald Trump has always had a rough relationship to America’s southern neighbors. In the past he has said:
- He will build a wall between Mexico and the United States
- Said that mexico is sending criminals and rapists to the United States
- The Mexican Government is sending criminals to the United States
- Attacked Jeb Bush over his wife who was born in Mexico.
- He Brought up Jeb’s wife again, showing that he doesn’t even realize that Mexican is not a language
- When two men beat up a 58 year old homeless man because the man was Hispanic, trump did not denounce the men, he said “they are passionate”.
What was Trump University?
Trump University was a for-profit “university” run by the Trump Empire, running real estate seminars. It is NOT an accredited college, and does not offer college credits. It was even sued for using the name University. It is not a school, it is more a seminar for existing business people that provided advice and exceptional networking opportunities. The price for courses ranged from $1500 for a three day course up to a $35,000 membership fee for Gold Elite members. Trump had a majority stake in the venture, which largely ceased operations in 2010. It is now the subject of multiple lawsuits.
What is Claimed in the Lawsuit?
The lawsuit in question is just one of many against Trump University, but this one is a class action suit for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and bad faith. This suit alleges that Trump university promised one-on-one year long mentor-ship, however the mentor-ship ended after the three day seminar. It alleges that the seminars would convince ‘students’ to raise their credit limits, and then the instructors would try to push new courses and higher membership tiers.
It is important to note that the suit does not say that they did not benefit from the seminars. It says that the benefits promised were not fulfilled. Trump has been attacking this suit because the ‘University’ received praise, even from those involved in the suit, but this is completely irrelevant to the case.
Who is Judge Gonzalo Curiel?
- Born in 1953 in Chicago, INDIANA to Mexican parents
- Went to Indiana University, and then on to Indiana University School of Law for his law degree in 1979.
- Privately practiced law from 1979-1989
- Assistant US District Attorney Southern California from 1989-2002.
- In the 1990s he was prosecuting a Mexican Cartel case, and was targeted for assassination by the cartel.
- Assistant US Attorney Central California 2002-2006, then appointed to San Diego County Superior Court.
- In 2011, appointed by President Obama to US District Court for Southern California where he currently serves
Trump has now come out and said that he will no longer discuss the case, and that “I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent…I do not feel that one’s heritage makes them incapable of being impartial, but based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial.”