Bud Kennedy

About Trump, the judge, La Raza and the border-bashers

Donald Trump waves passing a Laredo police officer during a tour of the World Trade Interational Bridge.
Donald Trump waves passing a Laredo police officer during a tour of the World Trade Interational Bridge. AP

The people lying about La Raza are the same people who lie about immigrants and immigration.

Anything named La Raza is about as threatening as something with the slogan “Kiss me, I’m Irish.”

Yet some Anglos — in particular, a certain Scot-German politician from New York — declare that La Raza and anything or anyone Latino pose an imminent risk to the American empire, as if Californianos’ or Tejanos’ cultural pride somehow threatens his.

New York Republican Donald Trump’s ongoing criticism of federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel of San Diego is only Trump’s latest malicious fairytale about immigrants and immigration, and perhaps his most absurd.

To Trump, the Indiana-born Curiel is “a Mexican” — his father came from Jalisco in the 1920s, his mother in 1946 — and the local Latino lawyers’ association is “pro-Mexican.”

All because the 40-year-old group is named the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association.

When Mexico sends its people … They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

Donald Trump, presidential announcement speech, June 16, 2015

For years, the group’s website has carefully explained how “La Raza” refers to the blended people of the Americas and is taken from the 1925 essay La Raza Cósmica by a former secretary of education in Mexico.

It’s not a separatist group. For $90 a year, anyone can join the San Diego La Raza Lawyers. The group’s mission statement is to “advance the cause of equality, empowerment and justice for Latino attorneys and the Latino community.”

Not one word attacks or bashes Scot-Germans, or anyone of Trump’s racial makeup, which appears to be la raza naranja.

A few years ago, the lawyers association complained to California TV stations about the TV game show Gana la Verde (Win the Green), saying the show “functions as a magnet to encourage people to enter this country without documentation.”

Doesn’t sound like a threat to overthrow Trump Tower.

To double down on dumb, Trump and supporters began conflating the San Diego group with the Washington-based National Council of La Raza, one of several Latino civil rights groups that include the older, Texas-founded League of United Latin American Citizens.

The 1925 essay ‘La Raza Cósmica’ by Oaxacan scholar José Vasconcelos is about the future blended Latino “race” in the Americas.

The NCLR has used the name La Raza since 1968. Only in the last 10 years, since the rise of immigration restrictionist groups and enforcement vigilantes such as the Minutemen, has anyone tried to tie the name to Latino supremacists or conspiracy theories.

But if you don’t know anything about the border, Latinos, Tejanos or Mexico, I guess you’ll believe almost anything.

By the way, it was not a good week for Latino-bashers.

Chris Simcox, an Arizona man frequently seen in Texas raising money for the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a militant volunteer border watch group, was found guilty of molesting girls ages 5 and 6, and faces up to 48 years in prison.

In 2011, a former Minuteman was convicted of double murder in the killing of a man and his 9-year-old daughter.

There are good and bad people on both sides of the fence.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, bud@star-telegram.com, @BudKennedy. His column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

  Comments