Am I Racist, Too?

Well, while everybody is talking about racism this and that, I must confess that the entire time I’ve been in the south, I’ve been somewhat suspicious of white guys who look, well… like thugs.
Not in the “black” sense of the word, but the type that is often shirtless with tattoos, baggy pants, Confederate key chains, and pickup trucks, etc.. The type that look like they spend most of their time drinking, hunting, and making malicious racial slurs among themselves.

If I’m not mistaken, this sort of thing happens with white people fairly often. Maybe people aren’t afraid of skin color as much as they are afraid of certain personas. I can’t lie, I wouldn’t have put it past any of those white guys to harm me simply because of my skin color and I imagine that it’s worse for white people because popular black culture promotes stereotypes that white people have every right to be afraid of.

In the same way that I’m afraid of Confederate flags and guys that look like skin heads because of history, the media, etc., and ignorance outside of those mediums, white people can be afraid of black people who appear to fit my culture’s negative stereotypes.

Is that still racism? Is one scenario different than the other? How do we all grow from this?

Any thoughts?

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