Being from the very deepest of the Deep South (the Mississippi Delta), when you wrote:
“Oh, no,” she protested after a demure sip from her daiquiri. “If we want a stable team, we need people who can work well together.”
In that cultivated southern voice of hers, Patricia went on to explain that the races don’t mix well because God created them to be separate.
well, let’s just say that what’s a dog-whistle to you is a freaking dog-foghorn to me. The tragic thing is that (as I’ve been discussing with interculturalisticman much of today) she almost certainly thought that what she was doing was good and morally right. Was Patricia otherwise malicious towards others? If I were a betting man, I’d bet quite a bit that she was not, that she honestly didn’t wish ill on anyone else (including minorities).
That’s why I keep saying that in my experience, most racists are good-hearted, well-meaning people who honestly either don’t recognize their racism for what it is, or simply don’t realize that racism is morally wrong. Mind you, that doesn’t excuse her words and actions or make her any less of a racist…and you did the right thing by firing her. I hope that she learned the right lesson, but I doubt it. For one to learn to turn one’s back on what one’s taught all one’s life is very difficult, and in my experience, the rejection of racism requires a great many experiences contrary to one’s lifelong mindset.