Is Trump racist? He says he is not. But his actions indicate otherwise. If you ask a white supremacist if they are racist, they will either say they are or say that they merely believe that whites are superior and they don’t see that as racism. (Actually, that’s conjecture – as far as I know I’ve never met one and if I did, I don’t know if I’d ask.) But Trump really thinks he treats all people fairly when he obviously does not. And that should not be surprising to anyone. Trump is the least self aware person ever. He claims he is really smart in such an non intellectual way it is almost tragic.
And for this reason, I cut him some slack. I see his lack of being self aware as a sort of mental disability. And even if he was more typically self aware, there are many people who grew up thinking they were treating everyone equally when they were not. So can you be racist when you are not self-aware? Yes, definitely. In fact, I think the majority of racism in America is exactly that. People thinking they are treating everyone equally even when seemingly small choices may tend to be different depending on skin color. And those small choices when taken together can have big consequences.
However, that’s a far cry from overt and self-aware white supremacy. Trump’s defense of the people who were at Charlottesville and at least adjacent to the white supremacists was certainly weird. But I don’t think that even Trump, as terrible a President as he is, is actually a self-aware white supremacist. Nor does he actively endorse those who are. So I think the rhetoric indicating that goes too far and has the unfortunate result of somewhat normalizing the un-self-aware racist that he actually is.