I recognize and respect the value in sharing your personal story and societal perspective of racists in this context.
Many southerners take excessive pride in confabulating their existence based on how they perceive others racially as opposed to humanly, which is expressed all to often by their attitudes and behaviors of indifference that are quite frankly sadistic.
Northerners, midwesterners and the liberal west folk tend to equivocate their racism through praise of unfettered capitalism and via institutional callousness (while ignoring its negative byproducts) to proselytize bootstrapping as virtue and cover. We all should be aware that in it lays the actual vice.
What I have learned from your piece is how insensitive beliefs combined with a veneer of naiveté propagates an ignorance of their own ignorance.
This goes without saying but the opportunity of being open to the world can be had without even leaving the town, state or country. It is one of the unstated luxuries of residing in a nation of immigrants. But the proper insight that would be gained becomes distorted by a sociopolitical strain entrenched in conflict, resentment and stigmatization that also derives from zero-sum fallacies. The ahistorical account and narrative adds additional layers to the motivated ignorance we continue to grapple with.
Most unfortunately, however, the prolific instances that drive the emotive appeal of racism is the apparent ease to which one can conjure hate relative to love.
My awareness after reading this has not only broadened but has also deepened.