Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Civility Watchdog: June 7, 2016, Carl Paladino

COSTELLO: Why does Mr. Trump keep doubling down on Judge Curiel? What's the purpose?

PALADINO: Well, answer the question for me as to why the press keeps doubling down on this Judge Curiel thing. The press has created this issue.

COSTELLO: Erick Erickson, who's a conservative blogger, he's an anti-Trump conservative, he does not like the media, either. He wrote this, this morning, of Donald Trump and his continued attacks on Judge Curiel, quote: "So the Party of Lincoln will entertain a racist as its leader in the name of winning? What good does it profit a party to win the White House and lose its soul? Because the odds are the party will not win the White House and will forfeit future victories as it sees Hispanic voters, black voters, and a solid number of evangelicals flee the party of racists." What would you say to Erick Erickson?

PALADINO: Erick Erickson just likes to use the term, "racist". He's not a racist. By far he's not a racist. This is incredible that you want to pull this word out and use it, because it always pushes back on the white guy. It’s not fair. And it's not a fair description of Donald Trump. Donald Trump might have some anxiety about this particular judge because he lives in the same real world that I do, where this type of thing does go on, where the ethnicity means something, in a court case or someplace else.
-- Carl Paladino, honorary co-chair for the campaign of Republican presidential contender Donald Trump, June 6, 2016, during an interview with Carol Costello of CNN. His remarks concerned Trump's demand that U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel recuse himself from a civil case concerning Trump University, given that Curiel was of Mexican heritage, was a member of a Latino lawyers' association, and that Trump had pledged to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border to stop illegal immigration from Mexico.

Comment: First of all, Paladino is using "media incitement" rhetoric. There are legitimate questions about what Trump has said, and the media are asking those questions. Second, while Paladino is right that the term "racist" has been used unfairly in the past, that doesn't mean it's being used unfairly against Trump. When Paladino says he and Trump live in the "real world", he's implying that others don't, which is a form of "stupid" name-calling. Lastly, while it's true there are cases where people (likely even judges) act on racial prejudice, there are also cases where they don't. The burden of proof is on Trump (and Paladino) to show that Curiel is doing so; they can't just speculate that he might. Otherwise, the case couldn't be given to a white judge either, because a white judge might favor Trump based on ethnicity.

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