Is Donald Trump racist? That question has hung over the presumptive Republican nominee for president as he has called Mexicans “rapists” and proposed a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Lately, though, the question has taken on more urgency as Trump has repeatedly publicly attacked the judge who presides over Trump University class-action lawsuits. Calling the American-born Gonzalo Curiel a “Mexican,” he said Curiel was therefore biased against him, and he added to the flurry of objections by suggesting that a Muslim judge might also be incapable of hearing a lawsuit involving any Trump entity.
In between these remarks he managed to offend by singling out a black man at one of his rallies, calling him “my African American” as if the fellow’s presence proved Trump was on the right side of the race issue.
For the long followers of Trump’s career, however, none of these incendiary remarks are especially surprising. Trump has a long record as a provocateur on matters of race and ethnicity.