Donald Trump is not a racist.
To paraphrase Sarah Champion. There. I said it. Does that make me an apologist? Or am I just prepared to call out his horrifying character traits for what they are?
As a general rule of thumb racists are not presented with Tree of Life awards by the Jewish National Fund.
Racists don't get recognised with Ellis Island Medals of Honor for, in the words of the National Ethnic Coalition of Organisations, exemplifying 'tolerance, brotherhood, diversity and patriotism.'
And racists don't, in general, describe the leader of the Ku Klux Klan as 'a bigot, a racist, a problem' as Trump did of David Duke during an interview on NBC back in 2000.
It's possible of course that 17 years ago Trump could have been playing a very long game or that philanthropy could have bought awards; but really, if you were a racist, even just a little bit, would you honestly want to be cited publicly and prominently as very definitely not being one?
No, and accepting anyone of us can change our views over the course of time, Donald Trump is not a racist.
Having said that, I'm not at all certain that Donald Trump particularly cares about race; it strikes me as being one of the least important things in the world to him.
You see, Donald Trump is an old, rich, white man with, seemingly, little interest in the welfare of anyone other than Donald Trump. How could race possibly be anything other than a side show to him?
No, the most important thing in the world to Donald Trump is his own personal brand.
You boost a brand by having loyal, dedicated customers, or supporters in the case of Trump, and just like Gerald Ratner found out many moons ago, telling those customers they are foolish is not the ideal tool for retaining their loyalty.
When news broke about Charlottesville, essentially that customer loyalty, and not racism, was President Trump's first sin. Donald Trump, like any businessman, was not going to tell many of the voters who had put him in his position where to go.
It didn't have to be racism or anti-Semitism. If Donald Trump had a loyal band of customers who feasted nightly of dogs he wouldn't be denouncing them but asking 'paw or tail, sir?'
Remember, in brand Trump the loyal customer is always right.
It seems to me that there is only one thing in the world of Donald Trump more important than the customer always being right; it's that the proprietor is never wrong.
Donald Trump has such startling and simple self belief; such a 'huuuuge' ego that like a Pope of Capitalism he does not believe he can be fallible and even in the face of demonstrable evidence the error must be with he or she who points it out.
When the media pointed out the Emperor's New Clothes of diminished inauguration day crowds Donald Trump did not for one second believe the photographic evidence. Donald Trump knew what he saw and his infallibility could only mean that detractors were the ones who were mistaken or lying.
And when his own advisors suggest to him that maybe, just maybe, he might be erring, the answer is simple: there is always someone else willing and ready to affirm Donald Trump's peerless intellect.
No, Donald Trump is not a racist - although equally he isn't someone who could ever be termed a civil rights campaigner - he is perhaps worse than that.
He is venal and delusional.
Each of those facets on their own can be dangerous; combined who knows, if he remains in office, what the next three and half years may bring?Suggest a correction