NEW YORK – The federal judge in the Trump University case, Gonzalo P. Curiel, is a lifetime member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, a La Raza-affiliated group that declared economic war on Donald Trump in a national campaign launched on the group's website one year ago.
A headline posted July 2, 2015, on the HNBA website announced "The Hispanic National Bar Association Rejects Trump's Racist Association."
"The Hispanic National Bar Association represents the interests of nearly 54 million Hispanics/Latinos in the United States, which is approximately 17% of the U.S. population," read a statement signed by Cynthia D. Mares, HNBA national president.
"By his recent derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants, Donald Trump's disrespect of such a large segment of the population of America is not only unbelievable, but outright wrong," Mares' statement continued. "His comment that Mexico only sends rapists and criminals to the United States reveals a racist nature that cannot and will not go unnoticed by the Hispanic National Bar Association nor the Latino community."
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In clear terms, the HNBA statement called for a national boycott of Trump businesses:
Those who seek our highest public office should attempt to engage all Americans, not divide us. His comments are clearly divisive and racist and do nothing to promote equality and justice for all. Trump's statements reveal a bias that all Americans should reject and respond to accordingly. We cannot stand silent and allow Trump to promote such racist and discriminatory behavior. This is the time for all Americans to take a stand against his insensitive, offensive and untrue statements.
The HNBA calls for a boycott of all of Trump business ventures, including golf courses, hotels, and restaurants. We salute NBC/Universal, Univision and Macy's for ending their association with Trump, and we join them in standing up against bigotry and racist rhetoric. Other businesses and corporations should follow the lead of NBC/Universal, Univision and Macy's and take similar actions against Donald Trump's business interests. We can and will make a difference.
Curiel, in his "Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees" on file with the Senate Judiciary Committee, declared he is a lifetime member of the Hispanic National Bar Association.
WND reported Monday night that both Curiel and the San Diego-based law firm leading the class action suit against Trump University, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, are tied to La Raza by their association with the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association.
WND also reported the San Diego firm paid $675,000 to the Clintons for speeches, and the firm's founder is a wealthy San Diego lawyer who served a two-year sentence in federal prison for his role in a kickback scheme to mobilize plaintiffs for class-action lawsuits.
The website of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association is joint-listed as the San Diego Latino/Latina Bar Association.
On the "endorsements" page, the website lists the National Council of La Raza as part of the "community," along with the Hispanic National Bar Association, a group that originated as the La Raza National Lawyers Association and the La Raza National Bar Association in 1971.
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The history section of the National Hispanic Bar Association says the group was created out of the original La Raza National Bar Association in 1984:
From its formation, the LRNLA met regularly to address the increasing legal problems and concerns of Hispanics in America. In particular, as the Chicano/Mexican Civil Rights Movement raged on, the LRNLA persevered in the legal battles over education, housing, voting, employment, union organizations, politics, the judiciary and other areas. Mario Obledo the first president of the organization served from 1971 through 1976. The organization continued growing in numbers, becoming firmly rooted in the legal community. In 1973, the First Annual La Raza National Lawyers Convention was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the time, there was an estimated 3000 total known Hispanic lawyers in the country. The Honorable Benjamin Aranda III took over presidency from 1976 through 1980. In 1981, the organization regrouped and changed the name to LA RAZA NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION (LRNBA). Thereafter, leadership of the organization changed on a yearly basis, following a vote of the membership. LRNBA Conventions in the early years were held in California. The conventions are now held on an annual basis in various cities. In 1984, the organization was renamed the HISPANIC NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION (HNBA) and moved the organization offices to Washington, DC.
While the HNBA and the National Council of La Raza are legally separate incorporated entities, the two groups appear to have an affiliation that traces back to the emergence of MEChA, the Moviemento Estudiantil Chicanos de Atzlán.
MEChA is a 1960s radical separatist student movement in California that espouses the mythical Aztec idea of a "nation of Aztlán," comprising much of the southwestern United States, including California.
As David Horowitz points out on his website Discover the Networks that La Raza, Spanish for "the race," also has roots in the early 1960s with a "united front" organization, the National Organization for Mexican American Services, NOMAS. The group initially was funded by the Ford Foundation, and subsequently by George Soros' Open Society Institute and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
In 1968, the Southwest Council of La Raza was organized with Ford Foundation funding. In 1972, the group changed its name to the National Council of La Raza and opened an office in Washington, D.C.