Gary Johnson’s False Cry of Racism

by Joshua Enomoto

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson resorted to a sadly common low, insinuating that Donald Trump is a racist. At issue is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s comments that the Hispanic heritage of a judge presiding over the controversial Trump University case may hinder impartiality. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — who is no fan of Mr. Trump — similarly blasted the comments as “textbook” racism. Clearly, these two individuals, and several others, need to review the definition of racism.

Merriam-Webster primarily defines racism as “poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race.” A secondary definition, and one that I believe does not reflect the negative spirit of racism accurately, is “the belief that some races of people are better than others.” Regardless, neither definition justifies denouncing Mr. Trump as racist simply on the basis of his “Hispanic heritage” comment.

First, Mr. Trump is obviously not advocating violence towards the judge in question, nor insinuating that white people are better than other racial groups. Second, race and ethnicity has, and will likely always, be a factor in determining impartiality of a legal case. It’s no secret that during voir dire, attorneys for disgraced athlete O.J. Simpson wanted as many black jurors as they could get. Were these attorneys racist? No!

They were doing their job, and they knew — whether anybody cares to admit it — that race and ethnicity play a powerful role in human psychology.

By calling out the Hispanic heritage of the Trump University case judge, Mr. Trump was merely pointing out the obvious. During often violent protests of Trump rallies, which country’s flag is prominently and proudly displayed, and which one is desecrated and burnt? While we should not judge the majority over the actions of a minority, it would take an incredibly naive person to not recognize how one’s race or ethnicity can cloud their judgment, especially in this heated political climate.

If such reasonable correlations are deemed racist, then any speech that mentions race or ethnicity is racist.

That of course would needlessly hinder social progress and discourse, instead promoting litigious and cut-throat behaviour. Is this not the antithesis of libertarian philosophies, which seemingly call for a “live and let live” ethos?

Libertarians, though, are confused individuals, whose intellectual equity and political fortitude waver like the plumes of smoke emanating from their oversized bongs. The renegade party that prides itself in seeing “both sides of the issue” are now surprisingly draconian when it comes to racism, so much so that one doesn’t actually have to be racist to be labeled exactly that. Race, apparently, brings acuity to our glassy-eyed friends.

That acuity, however, is one-sided. The irony of a Libertarian presidential candidate not willing to take the liberty of properly assessing a contentious situation should not go ignored. It speaks to the character of a party that is willing to say anything and do anything to get elected.