Prejudice Against Hispanics Clear In Tuesday’s Results


Some Broward County voters should be ashamed of themselves today.
Two fine judges Julio Gonzalez and Pedro Dijols were defeated Tuesday. Still up in the air at this time are the results for Catalina Avalos, trailing her opponent Ian Richards
I can’t attribute the results to anything other than prejudice.
Gonzalez and Dijols have Hispanic names.  Their opponents have readily identifiable Jewish names.
Tuesday’s light turnout and lack of a big countywide Republican race which would bring out more Hispanics also hurt the incumbents. 
Many in the courthouse crowd are disturbed by the trend.
“We’ve got a real racism problem in Broward County, Public Defender Howard Finkelstein said Wednesday.
Since they probably can make more money off the bench than as judges, the Hispanic incumbents won’t miss a meal.  But Broward County will miss the services of good judges.


6 Responses to “Prejudice Against Hispanics Clear In Tuesday’s Results”

  1. Gotta disagree a bit Buddy says:

    Buddy —

    You know that Bernie Bober is Cuban (which would make him hispanic too, even though he is Jewish). And whether Pedro Dijols is a good judge is definitely up for debate. Ask some of the lawyers that practiced in front of him.

    There is clearly a racism problem in Broward County and some double-sided racism in the Avalos/Richards race. Richards is African-American, and hid that fact from the voters because he knew that if the predominently Jewish/Condo voters in West Broward knew that about him, his generic sounding name wouldn’t save him against Catalina Avalos.
    He also hid the fact that his wife is Asian from the African-American community he courted.

    As for Julio Gonzalez, as a Jewish person I am disgusted that Ellen Feld won that race, given that throughout modern history, in various places throughout the world, Jews have been barred from professions, restricted from living in particular places, and far far worse, just because of our names and the way we looked. That Ellen decided to take on a great judge because she knew she could do well with her name is disgusting and I hope she is haunted by the fact that she was clearly the inferior candidate and won because she played to the worst instincts of voters. Actually, that won’t happen because if she had a conscience, she wouldn’t have run in this race at all.

  2. No Way Jose says:

    As for these judges making more money off the bench, who are you kidding man?

    Judge Dijols had a decent private practice going prior to becoming a judge, but I don’t think he was pulling in what he earned as a judge. Also, having 2 years on the bench isn’t going to be nearly enough for some big firm to bring him in.

    Judge Avalos has pretty much been on the government payroll since she became a lawyer. She worked for $65k as an ASA prior to becoming judge. And as a County Court Judge with only 2 years in, where is she really in demand in terms of practice. I suspect she’ll go find a job with an insurance defense firm in Miami…..I can’t picture her having any real practice here.

    Same thing with Judge Gonzalez. He didn’t have a lucrative practice before going on the bench, and he’s been a County Judge in the Domestic Violence Division…..Who’s hiring him?

    Just because the average lawyer makes $100k a year in Florida doesn’t mean any of these folks are going to be earning near that kind of scratch.

  3. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    I am a white prodestant who has lived in Broward County all my life and I went to many forums and the three unseated judges were wonderful, knowledgeable and I was extremely surprised to see them get unseated. I never thought of the prejudicial point. I guess that says that I am definitely not prejudice. I am thankful that I look at all people as just that good, hard-working people.

  4. Killmenow says:

    This is extremely upsetting and should be covered by national media. The Ian Richards scenario is particularly bizarre. It would make an interesting story for a national broadcast if it were covered.

  5. Sid Epstein says:

    I am so ashamed.
    I am also surprised and more ashamed at Mr. Finkelstein’s statement (“We’ve got a real racism problem in Broward County,” Public Defender Howard Finkelstein said Wednesday.)
    What your article did not say is that long ago Mr. Finkelstein began targeting Blacks and Hispanics to remove them from any judicial office.
    Not true? Then ask around. That schmiel has attacked every Black and Hispanic Judge for more than a year. He is far more of a racist than any official I know.
    Yes, we do have a problem in Broward. I hope we can fix it.

  6. abogado says:

    I think that the Hispanic organizations need to start getting more active in educating the public. It is sad that people voted for judges that they did not know about only because of their names- however the Hispanic community needs to do more of an active job educating the voters and getting the hispanic vote out. I think that Mr. Finkelstein is right and I am glad that he spoke up about it.