Thank you for writing this. I think what happens is that as soon as the subject turns to racism, some white people who might not be racist feel they have to defend themselves just in case you think they are. So they end up rationalizing racist behavior that shouldn’t be rationalized, diminishing your experience with racism, or actually making racism your fault. This guy did all three!
Shortly after posting this I had a conversation with a guy from Montenegro who found me on Scruff, and he was asking me a lot of questions about what I do for a living. Rather than just talk about it, which I hate to do, I decided to also send him my latest piece. He had a bit of a meltdown because he thought that by sending it to him I was somehow accusing him of being racist. The funny/pathetic thing is that race hadn’t even come up in our conversation. So defensive was his knee-jerk reaction. I politely set him loose. Tuesday was not a good day for Balkan guys and me. Wednesday was a lot better. I met one who just listened. Thanks for listening.