In my experience, I have never met an actual person who admitted that he or she is racially prejudiced. But I have heard many deny that they are racially prejudiced. The fictional movie 'Driving Miss Daisy,' starring Morgan Freeman, is instructive and representative.
Recently, I heard a black police officer say in an interview on racism that we all have our likes and dislikes. I thought that was a very telling statement from a person with many years in law enforcement.
I was reminded of the Dutch philosopher Spinoza, who 350 years ago pointed out that we may be aware of our actions, but unfortunately unaware of the causes behind those actions, and that until we recognize the real reasons underlying our behavior, we are not truly free. Sigmund Freud reached the same conclusion 250 years later.
And so we go on denying, supposedly in good and honest faith, that we are part of the continuing and polarizing problem of racism.
We need to talk and really listen with a civil and calm attitude to those with whom we disagree on specifics, airing our grievances for workable solutions toward justice and peace.
Unless, and until, we learn to identify and admit our hidden feelings, I fear we will deservedly continue to suffer from the ugly consequences of racism for many years down the road.