How anyone covering politics for more than the last couple of decades could even ask this question is beyond me, but apparently this is what they pay Meet the Press host Chuck Todd the big bucks for over at NBC News.
During a discussion about whether or not Gov. Ralph Northam should resign over the blackface scandal that erupted over the weekend, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown mentioned the fact that we have a known racist occupying the White House at the moment, which caused this reaction from Todd, and, thankfully, the appropriate push back from Brown:
TODD: What does it say that something like this is now, folks are now being held accountable for blackface in ways, frankly, we didn't have that kind of -- that strong of a moral code, I would argue, in our politics until recently. Why do you think that is?
BROWN: Well, I think this country hasn't dealt well with the issues of race. I mean, we have a president who's a racist who we have --
TODD: Let me pause you there. You believe in his heart he's a racist?
BROWN: Well, I don't know what in his heart means. I know that he built his political career knowing what he was doing on questioning the legitimacy and the birthplace of the president of the United States.
I know early, and there's been all kinds of news reports about what he did early in his career on housing. We know, I mean, read The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and read The Color of Law about how housing discrimination and decades and decades and decades of housing discrimination. And we know the Trump family, including the now sitting president, played to that and deepened that.
So issues, this is not a recent --- Charlottesville was only a symptom and only a more public viewing and outing, if you will, about the president's views about race. I mean, there's just no question about that.
We know the president doesn't tell the truth frequently. We know he lies frequently, and we know of his racist comments and background.
TODD: You spent the last couple of ---
BROWN: And that's not even counting Chuck, that's not even counting the policies of this administration. We have consent decrees all over this country including in Cleveland. We have a Justice Department that's turned its back on it. We know about voter suppression.
I was secretary of state of Ohio. My job when I was secretary of state was to encourage people of all races to vote, especially young people and especially young people of color, and we worked at that. We now have a government that suppresses the vote, and we know what happened in Georgia and we know what happened in Florida.
Sorry Chuck, but no one is still asking whether the birther king is a racist or not. I'll just quote Andrew Gillum here and his response to the question on whether his opponent Ron DeSantis was a racist or not: I'm not calling him a racist, I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist. Applies to Trump as well. It doesn't matter "what's in his heart" when he's pandering to people who hate.