Sorry for taking so long to reply. I wanted to address your statement: “ A lie is the practical opposite of the truth, regardless of what the person thinks of their own actions.”
I understand your viewpoint, but I look at it like this: if a child sincerely claims that 2+2=5, is that a lie? Of course not. It’s simply being incorrect, and is the result of ignorance. That’s how I view the great majority of racists out there who sincerely believe that they themselves are not racist. Of the fifty-odd million who voted for Trump, I wouldn’t be afraid to say that at least 40–50% of them did so with at least some degree of racism driving their decision.
The reason I have to stick with this is because I can’t allow myself to think that most of any given population of tens of millions of people are evil or mean-spirited. My experiences have led me to believe in the innate goodness of most people, and so I have had to find a way to explain why someone can be good-hearted, well-meaning, and racist all at the same time…and in looking at my own family in the Delta, I can see that it is quite possible that most of them simply don’t recognize their own racism for what it is, and assume that they themselves can’t be racist because they feel no malice towards other races, never realizing that racism doesn’t require malice.
What’s more, I think this is an important lesson to bear in mind, because when a person who strongly believes that he well-meaning and good-hearted is told that he’s an evil racist, the more he’s likely to harden his heart. You’re a good man and you know it, so if someone tells you that you’re evil in this or that way, how likely is it that you are to change your ways? Not likely at all, right? Right…because you know that you’re a good man, and that person who’s accusing you of evil must therefore be wrong.
That being said, I think Schlossberg is a racist, knows and accepts that he is a racist, refuses to admit it, and is instead using the old “I got black friends” as his excuse. I do not believe that he does not belong to the type of population I described above.