One can be the nicest person in the city - and still benefit from racism. These scenarios are hypothetical, yet fully accurate.
1. Individual is born to a loving family. Individual hears parents and other family members share opinions about racial groups other than theirs. Individual accepts this as normal, because it comes from a family that loves them and would never intend to teach them wrong. When individual matures, they understand the prejudice in these opinions and beliefs. On Thanksgiving, they choose not to engage in the conversation, because they don't agree, and also don't want to argue at dinner.
2. Individual sees a friend of a different race being treated differently. Individual stands up for that person. Person says that it's because of racism. Individual says "It's because they're a jerk."
3. Individual grows up and gets a job. Individual notices that there are no people of color on their team. Individual is asked to help with interviews. Individual complains about company's lack of diversity, and subsequently chooses a candidate that looks like them, over an Asian candidate, because the white candidate "fit the personality of the team a little more."
4. Individual sees news stories of black men murdered by police officers without just cause. Individual goes out to protest, because, again, treating people differently because of race is wrong. Individual feels great about what they have done - so great, that they call their black male friend to talk to them about their feelings of the protest.
5. Individual goes to work the next day. Individual sees a Hispanic client, and hesitates to help, because they don't know whether the client speaks english or spanish. Individual says hello, I'll be with you soon. Individual allows Hispanic coworker to help Hispanic client. Hispanic client speaks English. Individual hears conversation and has insight to offer. Individual re-joins conversation with insights that they feel are helpful.
6. Individual works hard and is promoted to Manager. A black woman needs assistance with a refund. She is visibly upset. When the individual does not honor the woman's receipt, she begins to recite the company's policy, which is written on the wall. Individual knows that negotiation is not their strong suit, and gets white female colleague, who comes out and assists the client. Individual feels more secure. Individual leaves conversation to help another client.
7. Individual has a child, and that child begins Kindergarten in their neighborhood school. Individual takes a week off work to "beautify" the "dilapidated" school exterior. Individual stands watch over their child on the play equipment every day after school. Children of color walk up to the play structure and begin to run and play. Individual steps in and tells their child to be careful. Children of color stop playing and leave.
Can anyone spot the racism in each of these seemingly innocent and reasonable scenarios?