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Could be both.

Consider, there is a great deal of defensive energy spent battling the racist label. Most racists absolutely abhor being branded racist. Only a few willingly claim it with pride. I think that's the reason racism in the USA is practiced, not enunciated.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:01:59 AM EST
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My experience with white Americans (not to generalise! but with a surprisingly big sample of otherwise-OK people) is that they lack empathy with respect to racism. That is : they cultivate a powerful sense of grievance about the supposed advantages handed out to blacks; and any claim of racism on the part of a black will be dismissed as "playing the race card", i.e. they (sincerely, at least in many cases) refuse to believe that blacks encounter discrimination at every turn in everyday life. And they will use this as an excuse for their own functional racism : "Oh we don't want one living next door, not that I have anything against them of course, but they are so full of resentment on race issues, it's sure to create unpleasantness"... Awfully pathological. A real minefield.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:32:36 AM EST
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Reminds me of Robert Jensen's writings on white privilege.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:33:51 AM EST
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That is how it works, in my experience.

I've lived in inner city America from the time I was 4 on except for 3 years in Europe in my 20s.

Recently, I had dinner with a Korean (woman) and African-American (man) at an Italian restaurant, and the waiter was from NYC by way of the Dominican Rep. The waiter launched into a circus of racial and ethnic stereotypes that had absolutely no one at the table unnerved. It struck me as the kind of easy labeling that an immigrant from the Caribbean to Brooklyn to Buffalo, NY could get away with, the sort of thing I often experienced in Europe. The lack of offense taken came from the power relations between the 4 of us at that table. This is precisely why those who deal in stereotypes have to be aware of the context in which they speak.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:52:20 AM EST
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