Erasmus demonstrated a favorable attitude toward learned converts from Judaism, such as Paulus Ricius and Matthew Adrian. He also had contacts with scholars—often Erasmians—of converso origin such as Juan de Vergara, Bernardino de Tovar, Juan de Valdes, and Juan Luis Vives. However, Erasmus smeared a few of his rival scholars as being Jews. Thus, to Cardinal Girolamo Aleandro he ascribed a Jewish mother and stated that his appearance and manner of speaking clearly testified that he is a Jew. Such a reference may be defined as racist according to a definition of racism which emphasizes the idea that the characteristics of the “other” are determined by nature and are unalterable and passed on from one generation to the next.