I think you may have misunderstood the phrase, “racism doesn’t require malice”, for while racism does not require malice, that does not mean that racism is not present. There are many racists who do indeed feel malice towards whatever race they target, but in my experience, there are many more racists who not only do not feel such malice, but do not recognize their own racism for what it is.

Please understand that racism is not a binary condition - it’s not a matter of “you are or are not racist”. The racists you hear about on the news are almost always the malicious racists, the hardcore racists…and the stupid racists. Such are very much in the minority (like the couple dozen who marched in Washington D.C. this past weekend). What comprises by far the vast majority of racists are those who honestly don’t hate minorities, who have no problems interacting with minorities, who really do have minority friends…but who feel threatened by the “browning of America”.

Again, I point to my personal experience in the Mississippi Delta. Every white I knew (including everyone in my own family) was racist at least to some degree, but not a single one held malice towards blacks. The blacks were our neighbors, our friends, our customers, our employees; we shared the bounty of our gardens with them, *and* they shared the bounty of their gardens with us. We were racist, but where’s the malice? Malice requires hatred and spite, and we neither hated nor were spiteful against the blacks. What made us racist was the fact that we made untoward assumptions about blacks, and virulently opposed miscegenation, and always voted in ways that preserved our own social and political power. We were racist against blacks as a whole, but felt no malice towards blacks on a personal level.

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Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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