Even the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Trump again steered his pirate ship into uncharted waters, firing off personal and racially tinged attacks against a federal judge”We've been talking here about Trump's attempt to build a white voting bloc to match the Democrats' black, Latino and Asian voting blocs. I think it's a terrible idea in the sense that it will formalize and cement hostility among Americans, and make it impossible to pursue common goods instead of tribalism. I also think it will likely work, because it is a kind of division people seem naturally to prefer. We will end up with a politics like Brazil's.
These were not racially tinged or racially charged attacks.
This was racism plain and simple.
The partisan press has long muddied what is and is not racist in this country and now confronted by actual racism cannot bring itself to use the word lest it be judging Trump.
The attacks are racist. To claim that someone is unable to objectively and professional perform his job because of his race is racism.
The alternative isn't clear, though. Justice Sotomayor made essentially the same argument Trump is making, albeit with the polarity reversed, in her frequent and infamous remarks on the value of having "a wise Latina" on the bench. The argument is that there's something about this quality -- which may not really be race, but is certainly ethnicity -- that will inform one's judgment. All Trump is saying is the same thing. He's just portraying it as a bad thing instead of a good thing.
The Democratic Party portrays itself as anti-racist, but in fact it is the party that has led us here by building its electoral success around racial voting blocs. It continues to try to divide white Americans by class because that prevents a majority voting bloc from forming against them. Everyone else it wants to vote their 'racial interest' by joining the D-majority voting bloc. What Trump is saying is that America should just go all the way to a polity divided by race. What would be wiser would be to break up the extant racial voting blocs, not to finish the work of dividing the nation this way.
Again, though, I don't know how you accomplish that. We probably can't do it until we can speak clearly about it. It won't do to let the Democrats' conduct slide while portraying Trump and his white bloc as some kind of especially wicked racists. He is making a racist appeal. The trick is, so is everyone else. Yet somehow, we continue to talk as if only Trump's version of this electoral strategy is racist. We can't fix the problem unless we acknowledge how much bigger it is than him.
UPDATE: Power Line makes an allied point.