Racism

In the 1970s, Trump was sued twice by the U.S. Justice Department for discriminating against black people who wanted to rent housing from his father's company. He started his political career by arguing falsely and repeatedly that Barack Obama was not a United States citizen, and he later lied about having found evidence in support of his claims. During the presidential campaign, Trump was denounced by politicians on the right and left after saying a U.S. district judge of Mexican ancestry couldn't be unbiased in the Trump University fraud suit because of his heritage. House Speaker Paul Ryan said, "Claiming a person can’t do the job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It’s absolutely unacceptable."

Timeline

Assessments

Scott Alexander–Slate Star Codex

Alexander considers the question, "Is Trump Racist?", in his November 2016 column, You Are Still Crying Wolf.

I stick to my thesis from October 2015. There is no evidence that Donald Trump is more racist than any past Republican candidate (or any other 70 year old white guy, for that matter). All this stuff about how he’s “the candidate of the KKK” and “the vanguard of a new white supremacist movement” is made up. It’s a catastrophic distraction from the dozens of other undeniable problems with Trump that could have convinced voters to abandon him. ...

How could Trump insult a Mexican judge just for being Mexican? I don’t know. How could Trump insult a disabled reporter just for being disabled? How could Trump insult John McCain just for being a beloved war hero? Every single person who’s opposed him, Trump has insulted in various offensive ways, including 140 separate incidents of him calling someone “dopey” or “dummy” on Twitter, and you expect him to hold his mouth just because the guy is a Mexican?

Jamelle Bouie–Slate

On Feb. 6, 2017 Bouie examined the White Nationalist project and advocates taking root in the White House, examining an essay written under the pseudonym, Publius Decius Mus:

he wrote, hailing the real estate mogul as the only figure who understood the stakes, who would beat back these “foreigners” and preserve America’s democratic tradition as Decius saw it. Not a tradition of pluralism, but one of exclusion, in which white Americans stand as the only legitimate players in political life. A dictatorship of the herrenvolk.