The instant you preface ANY comment with,
“I’m not racist but…(insert derogatory statement about a group with a different skin colour or ethnicity” and then follow it up with “some of my best friends are…(Black, Indian, Mexican, Indigenous etc etc)” so you can’t possibly be racist or bigoted.
You’re probably not a full blown frothing at the mouth KKK card carrying racist or bigot, what you are is casually racist and that is even worse than being an openly racist/bigoted individual, because you can spot the dyed in the wool racists, they are not backward in coming forward with their opinions.
It’s the casual racism that’s the hardest to avoid, the institutionalized racism, the different attitudes when a POC or someone from a Minority goes shopping, or applies for a job, or tries to find a house to rent, the subtle and not so subtle roadblocks that exist, that most people probably don’t realise that they pay into.
The empty seat on the bus next to a dark skinned man, surrounded by white people all standing, because no one will sit next to him, how can that not be casual racism, no matter what spin you put on it, yet I’m sure if you asked these people they would be horrified to be called racist, because it seems that calling someone on their racist/bigoted behaviour is worse than the racism/bigotry itself.
The same applies to “I’m not homophobic but…” statements, followed by the assertion that some of your best friends/sister/mother/aunt etc are gay, so you can’t possibly be homophobic.
Wrong again, casually racist, casually homophobic, and all probably without you even thinking twice about it or the impact it has on people.