Lots of great points in here. I often quote a writer who wrote, “Racism doesn’t always twirl its moustache.” So true. Many white people assume that if they don’t use the N-word, if they have black friends, and if they find the alt-right offensive, they can’t possibly be racist. Wrong. There are so many levels and layers of racism. As the statistics you provided show, many who don’t consider themselves to be part of the alt-right share similar concerns.
I live in Bangkok, and I was recently offered a dream position. The one setback is that I would need to work out my visa situation on my own. Here in Bangkok, a lot of expats will have local friends who run businesses sponsor them so that they can get the work permit to work for another company.
I asked a friend who works for his father’s very successful company if he could do this for me, and at first he was keen. Then he remembered something: His father hates black people. So there is no way he’d ever sponsor me. My friend, though born and raised in Bangkok, is Indian, by the way.
I was disappointed. Not only in the father but in the son as well. By not calling his father out on his prejudice and challenging him, is he complicit in the racism? I know a number of white people who have similarly racist parents whom they tolerate because, well, that generation was raised differently. That’s bullshit. If someone is tolerating racism and trying to justify it in people he or she loves, that person is complicit in the racism. That person is part of the problem, whether or not we would go so far as to slap the tag “racist” on them. Just as you don’t have to twirl your moustache to be a racist, you don’t have to be racist to be part of the problem.