The thing is though, many white people don't realize that they are being racist when they are being racist. I'm sure it's true of me also, but I digress. It takes consciousness to avoid racism in this world. Perhaps she didn't mean to be racist when she began to grill her neighbors about the porch and the paint job, but she did not take a step and ask herself, "OK, what's this going to look like?" before starting into it. However, that's what it takes: consciousness and stepping back. She didn't query herself about her own motives. Does she make a habit of interrogating her neighbors about permits for home improvement projects? If so that hardly qualifies her as "nice." If not, why this time? She helped you fix your bike chain. If you had been black, would she have been as forthcoming? I was on my bike on a hot day and some guys with a "Don't Tread on Me" flag gave me ice water. Had I been black or looked like I might be an immigrant, would they have been as "nice?"

I was out walking with my wife once and she crossed the street as a black woman approached on our side. It was a four-lane road even. I went with her because she is my partner. I would never have said she is racist but the incident shook me and felt awful. We spoke about it later.

No woman ever murdered her husband while he was washing the dishes.