Speaker Paul Ryan, reacting to dontopedalogist*-in-chief Donald Trump’s assertion that Mexican-American Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s judicial stance in the Trump University matter derives from anti-Trump bias born out of a general Mexican displeasure with the specter of a Southern border wall that would complicate the evasion of immigration check points for those that prefer to cross the U.S.-Mexican border on the q.t., declared that “claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment.”
* Dontopedalogy—the art and practice of putting one’s foot in one’s mouth
As we speak, pundits and politicians are practically falling over one another decrying Trump’s comments about Judge Curiel as “racist.”
But how is it necessarily “racist” to call into question a person’s impartiality because of their national descent, prejudiced and baseless as doing so may be?
Last time I checked, Mexico was a country, not a race. Just as Austria is a country, not a race. It seems a bit of a stretch, for instance, to condemn, on grounds that most Austrians are white, as “anti-white” the questioning of a white Austrian-American judge’s ability to rule fairly in a case whose defendant had proposed, say, a ban on immigration from Austria.
So to assume that Trump’s criticism of the judge was directed at his race rather than his national roots is to assume that if Trump were threatening to build another huge wall at the Canadian border (“and Canada will pay for it”), and a U.S. judge of Canadian ancestry had ruled against him in an unrelated matter, Trump would not be referring to that judge as unfair on account of his Canadian roots—whence that assumption?
Could it be that people who are so quick to throw around the r-word are, in a way, afflicted with the very same dysfunction that gives rise to racism itself, namely a propensity for jumping to conclusions without considering alternative explanations?