Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

Trump's bigotry on clear display ... again

Donald Trump is just fine letting Hispanic-American laborers do the dirty work of building his hotels or manicuring his golf courses. As he tells us often, he just loves him some Hispanics.

However, Trump draws the line at letting a person of Mexican-American heritage sit in legal judgment of him. In interview after interview, he is demanding that because of his Mexican heritage, U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel should be removed from a fraud case in California involving Trump University .

“I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Trump complained to the Wall Street Journal.

"We're building a wall," Trump said to CNN's Jake Tapper.  "He's a Mexican.  We're building a wall between here and Mexico. The answer is, he is giving us very unfair rulings, rulings that people can't even believe."

On and on it went, with Trump once again confirming that everything he says and does is ultimately about him. He's running a race for president, and this is what he chooses to talk about.

So let's discuss this "Mexican." Curiel's father came to this country back in the 1920s with an elementary-school education, settling in Indiana, where Gonzalo Curiel was born and raised. After graduating from high school, Curiel attended Indiana University, a known hotbed of Hispanic radicalism, and studied law there as well. Later, as a federal prosecutor, Curiel was deeply involved in breaking up the drug cartels infiltrating the country, serving as lead attorney on the national Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. He was so effective in that role that at one point the cartels targeted him for assassination.

But to Trump, he's still not American, he's Mexican.

Not surprisingly, the comments inspired another round of half-hearted tsk-tsking from Trump's fellow Republicans. Mitch McConnell refused an invitation to say Trump was wrong. "What I am willing to say is that Donald Trump is certainly a different kind of candidate," he said, leadership just oozing from his pores. Paul Ryan was at least willing to say that he disagreed with Trump's reasoning, but went on to claim that the comments had come "out of left field," as if this kind of thing were some sort of surprise.

Sorry, Speaker Ryan. You don't get to claim to be shocked and appalled. Neither does anybody else in your party who has embraced Trump. You don't get to make that claim now, after you endorsed him and promised him your vote, and you won't get to make that claim when this is all over, either. Everybody knows who and what Trump is, and we've known it for a long time. He didn't win the GOP nomination in spite of this garbage; he won it because of this garbage, which he began spewing from the earliest days when he called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post this week, U.S. Sen. David Perdue wrote glowingly of Trump, lauding "the incredible skill set our nominee possesses."

"He is bold and unpredictable, always keeping the opposition off balance. And he is a master of earned media," Perdue wrote, concluding that “It is time to let Trump be Trump, and to help him win this election.”

And this is Trump being Trump. He's all yours, senator, every last bigoted bit of him.

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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.