Race relations in a nut shell:Whites don't trust Blacks not to ruin stuff.Blacks don't trust Whites not to screw them over.Both races have really long memories.To put it positively:Whites assume that Blacks will ruin stuff.Blacks assume that Whites will screw them over.Both groups point to history as their guide.
I let this sit there in my notes for these weeks, one to see how well it aged and two, to see if indeed this is the way it seemed things play out. And I see it, I really do. I would only add one more thing: The expectations often become self fulfilling prophecy. A few people react with the assumptions, and next thing you have group think, and yes! What was expected happened.
We will never be "post racism" in this country, any more than we are "post classicism" here. What we can be and what the country can offer is a playing field that will allow a person to change their situation. We are not India, where your situation is completely dictated by where, when and to whom you are born. People of lower classes and minority races can make great things of themselves in this country. However, we will never move past race if it is flung out as an answer to failure or used to blame or used to get something for nothing.
The issue of racism in the United States is an extremely complex topic that has many facets and many things that keep it from being resolved easily. However, that does not relieve the individual from caring and thinking on the issue. In addition I would say this: it is much harder to maintain certain opinions of people of other races once you have drawn people of different racial backgrounds into your own circle of friends. It is then that you see that they are human, with strengths and weaknesses, just like you.
Oh there is more, so much more, but this is a start. Have to start somewhere.