Was Swami Vivekananda a casteist?

No, he was never a casteist. He initially believed in varna but even then encouraged inter-caste marriage and allowed people of all varnas to be monks. Later, he rejected varna too. He was condemned and boycotted by conservatives.
Swami Vivekananda initially believed in the Varna System, but not the Jati System. Varna depends on actions & qualities. And the original purpose was to give protection to the weaker sections in Rig Vedic Age but it was corrupted in Later Vedic Age and was used to exploit people.
Please note that Swamiji changed his views regarding this.

Later, Swami Vivekananda became critical of all types of caste system, including the varna system.
In a letter, in 1897, he wrote:

"The conviction is daily gaining on my mind that the idea of caste is the greatest dividing factor and the root of Maya; all caste either on the principle of birth or of merit is bondage"

(Source: ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/vo…)
I also agree with Swami Vivekananda because today even Varna System is impractical and has no significance. But originally, the purpose of the Varna System wasn't to exploit. It was later misused by the Brahmins.
Swami Vivekananda allowed people of all castes and religions to become monks. He was condemmed by the Conservatives and was denied entry to the Dakshineshwar Temple.
Swami Vivekananda had great respect for Shankaracharya as a spiritual master but he even criticized Shankaracharya for accepting the caste system. Swami Vivekananda also said that Hindus should learn the concept of equality from Muslims. He talked of Vedanta brain and Islam body.
Swami Vivekananda was also denied entry to the Bhagavathi Kali Temple of Kerala.
"I am a Mlechchha, Shudra, and so forth; I eat anything and everything, and with anybody and everybody — and that in public both abroad and here."
- Swami Vivekananda

(Source: ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/vo…)
In the same letter, he said:

Ramanuja, Shankara etc., seem to have been mere Pundits with much narrowness of heart. Where is that love, that weeping heart at the sorrow of others? — Dry pedantry of the Pundit — and the feeling of only oneself getting to salvation hurry-scurry!
And also:

"The Upanishads and the Gita are the true scriptures; Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Chaitanya, Nanak, Kabir, and so on are the true Avatâras, for they had their hearts broad as the sky — and above all, Ramakrishna."
Swami Vivekananda regarded selfless service to the poor and the oppressed as true service to God. He called this concept Daridra Narayana.
"Two forces, as it were, are constantly at work, one making caste, and the other breaking caste; in other words, the one making for privilege, the other breaking down privilege. And whenever privilege is broken down, more and more light and progress come to a race." - Swamiji
"The idea that one man is born superior to another has no meaning in the Vedanta; that between two nations one is superior and the other inferior has no meaning whatsoever." - Swamiji

(Source: en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Compl…)
"They (Brahmins) began to spread out their hands to clutch at the riches of society. They became "money-grabbers" — to use your word — and forgot all these things." - Swamiji

Clarifications -

1. I am not against the great Shankaracharya (nor was Swamiji). He was one of the greatest spiritual gurus. He had changed his views on caste as reflected in his work Maneesha Panchakam. I was only pointing out that Swamiji even questioned him on this.
2. I am not against Brahmins. In some of the quotes cited in this thread, Swamiji is merely expressing the truth regarding caste-based oppression. Like Swamiji, I too support equality and want complete annihilation of the caste system. Like Gandhiji I hate the sin, not the sinner

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