Overall I was trying to get at exactly the same thing that Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about in an article titled The Good, Racist People.
In modern America we believe racism to be the property of the uniquely villainous and morally deformed, the ideology of trolls, gorgons and orcs. We believe this even when we are actually being racist.The reason we have trouble talking about racism in this culture is because too many white people think the word only applies to the overt hatred expressed by the "uniquely villainous and morally deformed racists." When you talk to people of color, it is often the more subtle racism that tends to come from a white privileged ignorance that is most painful. That's because its one thing to deal with someone you KNOW hates you. Its another thing altogether when the prejoratives come from someone who claims to be your friend or ally.
Its long past time for us to redefine racism based not on the intent of the sender but on the experience of the receiver. As someone said during a blog conversation I participated in on this topic long ago...if I accidentally dropped an anvil on your toe, the fact that I didn't mean to doesn't make it hurt any less.
Please go and read Coates whole article. For us white folks, the journey is not about labeling the racism "out there." Its about being open to how it has been hard-wired into our own brains. We need not fear exposing it. The only way it is perpetuated is if we pretend its not there.