The Racist “My”

I’m not sure people know what racism is anymore. It used to refer, in this country, mainly to a serious identifiable problem between blacks and whites. Now it’s turning into an all-purpose pejorative that can mean almost anything.

Take Trump’s comments about the judge presiding over his Trump University case. You can argue that there is no connection between His Honor’s Mexican parentage and his rulings in the case, but it’s not racist for The Donald suggest a conflict of interest in this specific instance–not racist because there is no stereotyping or racial denigration involved. It’s not as though he said, for example “all Mexicans are bad judges.” That would be, loosely defined, racist.

But given The Donald’s position on illegal immigration and building a wall to try to stop people sneaking in from Mexico, coupled with the rallies where Trump protesters fly Mexican flags, coupled with one or more rulings against him by the judge, then adding in that the judge’s parents came here from Mexico, it is not unreasonable for The Donald to connect some dots and think the judge may be biased against him. If you want to say he should not be going public with this gripe, you might have a point–you can say he’s impolitic. But not racist.

The media-political complex that tells us what to think seems to have an unwritten law: whatever Trump says, find a way to paint it as  racist. Exhibit A: at a rally recently, he says, “Look at my African American over here,” referring to someone holding a Trump campaign sign, who, incidentally, did not mind being pointed out. But use of the possessive “my” got the collective panties of the press in a bunch, because, surely, that was a racist “my.” Good grief.

But getting back…I’m not a lawyer (and I don’t play one on TV), but if I were defending The Donald before this judge, and thought that the judge’s rulings to this point have been biased based on the specifics of this case, i.e., the high visibility of the defendant with respect to the issues I mention above,  the passions his position on those issues inflame, and the judge’s personal family history (and, it turns out, his association with La Raza), I would file a motion (or whatever) to recuse the judge from the case. And that is not racism.

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