Donald and the Judge
Please forgive me for asking several questions which may seem both anachronistic and the example of a benighted outlook upon the modern world. Of course they relate to Donald Trump. The questions relate neither to foreign, economic nor domestic policy. Perhaps they speak more of my twentieth-century upbringing than to anything else. By way of explanation a little personal history is in order.
For whatever reasons he may have had, my father, James J. Slattery, took me under his wing: taught me to drive by the time I was 12, drilled into my subconscious mind the mandate “Never step aside for another man, always respect women, be kind to the old, the infirm and the unfortunate.” Above all be aware that you are the Irish Catholic son of an Irish Catholic father. The man did have his flaws; I shall investigate but one which is at the heart of this matter. A second generation American he was ever Irish. A veteran, a county Democratic chairman and a WPA official during the depression, he was also an American. Such duality existed then and still exists for many hyphenated Americans. As a country of immigrants such should be expected. And, yes, honored. Now to my father’s flaw. Resulting from the “troubles” in Ireland James Slattery harbored an absolute hatred for Northern Irish/Scottish Presbyterians. He attempted to teach that to me, a lesson I refused to learn. Interesting though, I still am able to drive, respect others as I would wish to be respected, love Ireland in my own sentimental way, and, perhaps in name only, remain a Roman Catholic. I do not consider myself, however, Irish-American. I am Irish AND I am American.
Now to Trump and, you must have surmised, Judge Curiel. Were my father, who supported the ways of the Black Panthers during the revolutionary sixties, alive today, and were he of Mexican Heritage, would he not have despised Donald trump? I do know that were I Mexican and American (By the by, Mexico is part of North America and thus all Mexicans even those living in Mexico, are as “American” as are we here in the USA.) I would do all in my power to thwart Mr Trump’s every move and to work, all within the law of course, every lever to assure his downfall.
And this leads to the question at hand: Is not Donald Trump justified in suspecting that he is being treated unfairly? And please do not respond with the cliché that Mr. Curiel’s position as a Federal Judge somehow raises him beyond such things. Should you be tempted toward such innocence remember Dred Scott or the 3/5ths Compromise. The judiciary is composed of human beings and human beings are immune to perfection.
A further point for consideration. We champion African-Americans who stand up for African-American issues at no point shying away from focusing upon their African roots which are far more distant than the Mexican roots of Judge Curiel. Furthermore not one of us publicly dare claim the label “Native American” unless we are descended from (Should I say it?) Indians. Which leads perhaps not to an overwhelming but assuredly a final question: Why the furor unless perhaps your dual purpose is to defeat Mr. Trump at the polls while at the same time reaching way over your own shoulder (Republicans take heed.) so that you might give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for your enlightened political correctness?
Disclaimer: I am not convinced that Trump or Sanders would be a good or even semi-competent president, but I would rather vote for Billy Fuccillo (local car dealer and TV personality) than for Hillary. Once upon a time I voted for Ralph Nader and once upon another for Dick Gregory. Don’t see anyone like either of them out there now. This weekend I watched an old movie, Viva Zappata. According to most accounts the film romanticizes a somewhat flawed character. Nonetheless, the essence of the man shines through. Zapata’s final words to his followers amount to this: A strong leader rules a weak people. A strong people lead themselves.
Where in hell are we going?