The lawyers’ association to which Judge Gonzalo Curiel belongs was co-founded by a man who publicly bragged about Hispanics taking over California and all of the state’s governmental institutions–and insisted that whites should go back to Europe. The group, the California La Raza Lawyers Association, has been widely defended as “not pro-Mexican” by mainstream media outlets, though the outlets failed to report the inflammatory statements of the man listed first as a founder, Mario Obledo.
A 2010 Snopes report asserts that the first-listed co-founder of Judge Curiel’s group, Obledo, made the statements. They reported:
Mario Obledo was a co-founder of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the La Raza Lawyers of California bar association, and he formerly served as California’s Secretary of Health and Welfare. We don’t know exactly when and where he first made his controversial statement about California’s becoming a “Hispanic state,” but he has confirmed he said it at least twice: during an appearance on Ray Briem’s talk radio show in May or June of 1998, and again on Tom Leykis’ talk radio show:
Obledo: “We’re going to take over all the political institutions of California. In five years the Hispanics are going to be the majority population of this state.”
Caller: “You also made the statement that California is going to become a Hispanic state, and if anyone doesn’t like it, they should leave. Did you say that?”
Obledo: “I did. They ought to go back to Europe.”
The statements were also reported by the New York Times in their 2010 obituary for Obledo. They wrote:
When someone put up a sign at the California border saying, “Illegal Immigration State,” he threatened to burn it down personally.
He ignited an explosive response in 1998 when he said in a radio interview that Hispanics were on the way to taking over all of California’s political institutions. He suggested that people who did not like it go back to Europe.
The Washington Post asserts that Judge Curiel is a member of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, which is a local affiliate of the La Raza Lawyers Association of California.
The website for the group lists Mario Obledo as one of three co-founders. He is listed first.