Mexico Is Not a Race, But Trump Proves Racism Has Nothing to do with Logic
Noah Berlatsky - Quartz
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June 8, 2016
Donald Trump on His Relationship with Hispanics and How He'll Beat Hillary Clinton (extratv)
Is it racist to hate Mexicans? Last week (June 3), MSNBC’s Mark Halperin insisted on Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect that it is not, because “Mexico is not a race.”
Halperin was responding to Donald Trump’s (who else) claims that judge Gonzalo Paul Curiel’s Mexican heritage made him unfit to preside over a court case involving allegations of fraud at Trump University. Trump claimed Curiel, who was born in the United States, was inherently opposed to Trump’s anti-immigration stance and therefore biased. Halperin reluctantly agreed that the attacks on Curiel were “racially tinged.” But, he insisted, “Mexico is not - Mexican is not a race.”
In the United States, racism is most often discussed in the context of prejudice against black people. As a result, people like Halperin often resist the application of the term “racism” to other communities. The argument that Mexican is not a race assumes that race is a real thing. For example, when you talk about racism against Muslims, Twitter “eggs” will line up to inform you that Muslim is not a race. Muslim is a religion. Hating Muslims, therefore, cannot be racism.
These arguments are often willfully disingenuous. But they’re also based on a logical fallacy. The argument that Mexican is not a race assumes that race is a real thing. Humans, Halperin’s comments suggest, are coherently, authentically separable into groups on the basis of something that can recognizably be called “race.” Only when you criticize one of those “real” racial groups are you guilty of racism.
Read the rest at Quartz
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