Criticizing a Particular Judge = Racist?

Bob Murphy's correctly notes the extreme silliness of people like George Will crying "Racist!" when Trump claims that one particular Mexican-American judge may be prejudiced against him, but simultaneously themselves claiming that most Hispanics are anti-Trump.

By the way, I think the true genesis of Trump's statement is pretty obvious: he is creating a narrative that will explain in advance why he lost that lawsuit, if in fact he winds up losing it. It is a PR tactic, not "racism"! It may be unfair to that judge, or perhaps not... maybe he really does have it in for Trump, I have no idea.

But Trump's statement will certainly appear racist if you already have confirmation bias telling you he is a racist. As Adams points out, Trump has never discussed race during this campaign at all, except to say things like, "People of all races love me!"

8 comments:

  1. People have memories, memories which include Trump as one of the biggest leaders of the birther movement. If you have a definition of racism that doesn't include birtherism, then your definition of racism is defective.

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    1. Please explain why is is "racist" to ask if a president is constitutionally qualified for office?

      In this case it is SILLY, but why "racist"? Are you aware people raised the same questions about John McCain? Was that "racist" as well?

      If your definition of "racism" includes doubting if someone is qualified for the office they hold because of where they were born, when that requirement is written right into the US Constitution, then your definition of racism is blitheringly stupid.

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    2. When the "argument" is that Obama wasn't born in the US because Hawaii wasn't part of the US, and that it doesn't matter anyway because his birth certificate wasn't the right kind of birth certificate, a reasonable person will conclude that the alleged concern with constitutional qualifications is merely a pretext.

      I know it is very difficult for you to admit this, because it makes clear that your current support of Trump is morally loathsome and repugnant. You should consider, however, that the main benefit of having a political viewpoint with no realistic prospect of achieving power is that you can afford to tell the truth. The election will come out the same irregardless, so you may as well avoid demeaning yourself.

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    3. "When the "argument" is that Obama wasn't born in the US because Hawaii wasn't part of the US, and that it doesn't matter anyway because his birth certificate wasn't the right kind of birth certificate, a reasonable person will conclude that the alleged concern with constitutional qualifications is merely a pretext."

      I am really unfamiliar with birtherism, but what I heard at the time was the claim that he was born in Kenya, and not Hawaii at all. (As I said, this is silly.)

      But, even if we admit this was 100% a pretext... the obvious motive is not racism, but PARTISAN POLITICS. This is what partisans do: discredit the "other side." Dems did it to Reagan and Bushes I and II, and GOPers did it to Clinton and Obama. Having lived through the Clinton and the Obama administrations, I can testify that partisan efforts to "get" Clinton were MORE energetic than those to "get" Obama. So we have a simple and obvious explanation: partisanship. You have offered NO REASON WHATSOEVER to disbelieve the simple explanation.

      As far as the rest of your comment goes, it is morally loathsome and repugnant to demonize everyone who disagrees with you on a political choice. If I evaluate the fact that Clinton will kill a million more mid-easterners than Trump as more important than that Trump said mean and ridiculous things about Obama, I'd say that is actually a morally excellent reason to vote Trump, and that it is YOU who find it difficult to admit that you are supporting a warmonger and promoting widespread death and destruction because the alternative has icky orange hair and says mean things.

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    4. "You have offered NO REASON WHATSOEVER to disbelieve the simple explanation."

      Oh wait, there is one good reason: shouting "RACISM!" all the time is a grand way not to have to ever deal with arguments or facts.

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    5. First, if you are unfamiliar with birthers, then you should look up what they actually said before deciding to argue they are not racists. They began with the claim that Obama was born in Kenya, claimed that it didn't matter that he had an American mother, claimed that Hawaii doesn't count for being born in America because it's not part of the mainland, and claimed that his Hawaiian birth certificate didn't count because it was the wrong kind of birth certificate. It was obvious that this is nothing but motivated reasoning, and, based on the numerous wildly racist things birthers said, it is obvious that they were motivated by racism.

      Your claim that this is just standard partisan politics is false. As you yourself noted, there was some controversy about McCain's citizenship status. The difference is that Democratic leaders promptly introduced a Congressional resolution affirming McCain's citizenship status, and that was the end of the matter. The Republican leadership didn't do anything similar, and indeed fanned the flames as hard as they could. They have paid the price for encouraging their voters to believe nonsense: Trump is now their nominee.

      Second, if you say that Clinton is a loathsome warmonger who, in a just universe, would never be permitted within a million miles of the White House, then you would be correct.

      OTOH, if you claim that Trump is less of a warmonger than Clinton, you are speaking utter nonsense. Trump supported the Iraq war, claims the big problem with our Mideast policy is our unwillingness to steal Arab oil, argued in favor of sending troops into Syria, is passionately in favor of torture, suggested using nuclear weapons on ISIS, opposed the nuclear deal with Iran, and praised Saddam Hussein for gassing the Kurds.

      This is a set of positions even more bellicose than Clinton's. On top of that, Clinton leads the Democrats, and has to appease a powerful anti-war faction. Trump leads the Republicans, and has to appease a powerful pro-war faction. (Anti-war Republicans basically begin and end with Rand Paul.) So Trump faces structural political pressures in favor of his basest impulses whereas Clinton faces the opposite incentives.

      I think you reveal your past as a libertarian here; a pretty common analytical mistake is to confuse isolationism (ie, the impulse to avoid entangling alliances) with unilateralism (ie, the impulse to get angry at foreigners who object to your foreign policy). Trump is not an isolationist; he has outlined a vastly aggressive foreign policy -- he just rejects respecting multilateral international institutions. Clinton does not, and this means that there is at least a chance that the UN Security Council will be able to talk her down. (It is one of life's ironies that any of the great powers could have a much more successful foreign policy by giving their rivals a veto over military action.)

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    6. Just read the Wikipedia article on this. Nothing whatsoever on "Hawaii not part of the mainland." There were claims that "anyone can get a Hawaiian birth certificate." Yes, that's nutty, but how is it racist?!

      I lived through the Clinton administration. Many of the exact same people went after Clinton even harder than they did after Obama. (Clinton was IMPEACHED, after all!)

      You haven't offered a single scrap of evidence for your "racism" charge. (And remember, I have quite clearly noted that SOME people object to Obama because of racism, so one quote from some nut on Twitter won't cut it.)

      You claim the birther said "wildly racist things" but can't actually provide a single quote backing this point. (And let's see one from one of the main proponents listed here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_citizenship_conspiracy_theories#Not_born_in_Hawaii, and not just some lone nut.)

      "OTOH, if you claim that Trump is less of a warmonger than Clinton, you are speaking utter nonsense. "

      Well, you appear to be an expert on that, so I'll have to take your word for it!

      "I think you reveal your past as a libertarian here; a pretty common analytical mistake is to confuse isolationism (ie, the impulse to avoid entangling alliances) with unilateralism..."

      Do you realize how dumb and condescending this particular "utter nonsense" is?! Who the hell confuses those things? Again, not a single example, just raw assertion.

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    7. How long you been sitting in Cambridge gettin yo panties in a bunch about my (qualified) support for Trump? You need to get out to a pub or something: try The Mill. Nice river views.

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