WASHINGTON -- As they say in the law, here is the question in the case: Can a 62-year-old son of Mexican immigrants who was born and educated in the United States preside fairly as a judge in a suit involving Donald J. Trump?
Anyone who knows U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel -- not to mention the U.S. Constitution and the rules and precedents of the courts -- knows that the distinguished graduate of Indiana University and its law school can do just that.
In the U.S., a judge is a judge regardless of the racial or ethnic makeup of anyone involved in the case. It is the essence of what we stand for as a country.
But Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, insists -- in stubborn defiance of his party and his own campaign staff -- that Curiel’s “Mexican heritage” makes him hopelessly biased. He has doubled down on the attack in the last week.
Even loyalists Republicans have correctly dismissed Trump’s remarks as “racist.”
Trump’s stand (which is, in reality, a move to protect his shoddy business “reputation”) is yet another attack on Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants by a man who ate a taco bowl for lunch as a snarky rebuke to his critics.
It also shows the urgent need for The Huffington Post to act in the only way we know how: by doing more and better journalism.
Today we announced a full-scale, Spanish-language edition based in and reporting on Mexico: its politics, culture, lifestyle and increasingly crucial relationship with its giant neighbor to the north and the world as a whole.
HuffPost Mexico will be published in conjunction with Mexico City-based Grupo Imagen Multimedia, a major digital player. It will be HuffPost’s 16th edition around the world, and will serve the largest Spanish-speaking country on Earth.
We hope that by sharing reporting in Mexico with the world -- and vice versa --we can counter taunts with understanding.
Reporters, videographers, photographers, researchers and the rest of the media can’t forge peace, abolish injustice or elevate wise leaders. But good journalism explodes stereotypes, dispels destructive myths and gives us all access to accurate representations of our fellow humans -- not as their enemies, rulers, propagandists or demagogues depict them.
And it can explain, in Mexico and in the U.S., why respect for laws and constitutions shout “no” to racist taunts aimed at judges, especially when those taunts come from someone who would be sworn to uphold both.
The rise of Trump is a special challenge for both the U.S. and Mexico, and to our often contentious, centuries-old relationship.
Trump rocketed to the top of the GOP primarily on anti-Mexican provocation: calling Mexican immigrants rapists, drug dealers and criminals; vowing to build a wall between the two countries; proposing to summarily deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, most of whom are from Mexico; claiming that trade deals have benefited only Mexico.
Trump ensures that Mexico will be at the center of the U.S. presidential campaign -- and that the U.S. campaign will be at the center of Mexico’s own politics and foreign policy.
But there are, of course, other crucial reasons for launching a Mexico edition now.
Our two countries are increasingly intertwined, whatever Trump may wish to unravel. We must report from and to both sides of a border that joins as much as it separates.
More than 1 in 10 Americans are of Mexican descent. In percentage terms, there are more immigrants in the U.S. now than at any time in more than a century -- and many more of them are from Mexico than from any other country.
Mexico is the United States’ third largest trading partner, after Canada and China. And despite what Trump claims, the U.S. is by far the net beneficiary in dollar terms, since many of the goods “imported” from Mexico contain parts that were manufactured in the U.S.
Our growing commonalities encourage people in the U.S. to see our own history in a more textured way. More of us now know that the oldest government building in the country is in Santa Fe, not Boston, and that the most Texan of all monuments, the Alamo, was a Mexican fort in Spanish America. The “American pastime” is baseball -- and nearly 1 in 5 players in the Major Leagues is Hispanic.
Of course there are common concerns far less sunny than beisbol, chief among them the northern flow of drugs, and what it is doing not only to the U.S. but to the stability of Mexico.
The U.S. and Mexico -- and the world -- need to know a specific piece of Mexican history, and the role it plays today: the idea of the "caudillo."
Caudillos were rich landowners who paid their own militias and ruled their turf with iron fists and claims of populist concern for the people.
The system mostly benefited the boss at the expense of the poor farmers, villagers and soldiers who were made to serve him.
Mexican reformers fought to rid the country of the caudillos. They did so, only to see the drug lords take their place.
But the old idea of the caudillo lives on in the Manhattan, of all places. In Trump Tower.
Editor's note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Curiel is 53 years old.