This subject has certainly piqued at my curiosity and interest in determining what motivates racism. I am pleased that you have obliged me with your perspective on this aspect of racism. I have gained some insight from your conclusions and it has sparked in me some revelations.
Allow me to demonstrate a perspective that warrants some contemplation by deliberating on what I tend to view as a social trap that we as a society have been forced to operate in by our own government body that is alleged to be in essence a democracy.
The social stigma being applied to Blacks and many other minorities to promote the vanity of whiteness via various forms of othering, racially insensitive jokes or beliefs, prejudice, segregation, institutional callousness, civil rights violations, socioeconomic discrimination, and racial violence via law enforcement and symbolic violence are sanctioned at the individual level (collectively) at various time perspectives for Whites as a short term reinforcer of psychologically rewarding privilege. It is no different than the sanctioning of tobacco smoking which in turn provides the short term reinforcing effect of a rewarding stimuli — pleasure, when in the long run it is empirically a long run hazard for your overall health and consequentially the health of others. One might take that a step further and consider the unforseen burden it may have on loved ones to assist in the long term care as a result. This is an aspect of our overlooked interdependence. Analogously, racism that seemingly is personally gratifying, and innocuously done in small dosages can and will have deleterious effects on our democracy over the long haul. Think of the phenomena that is Donald Trump.
It is that positive reinforcement of gratification or lost cause pride of not knowing or not wanting to know how the long term effects of racism — albeit with malice or done without malice, can have as a toll on humanity. It has lingering effects that endures in this long term impact on the well-being of our society.
The example you gave of your family being charitable to Blacks as a redeeming quality of “not malicious people, who happen to be racist” is striking in this regard. The source of that charity derives incidentally or contingently from acts of racism or preordained institutional callousness towards Blacks that has already been established centuries ago. A resulting satisfaction granted undeniably in a specious kind of good wrapped up in privilege. These Blacks have and still suffer however, from a negative Matthew Effect of poverty inducing schisms and grievances spurned by racism that is absolutely structural.
Our dialogue serves as the removal of this structure or social fence we know as racism or racial hierarchy, if you will. I am sure we have seen on occasion an obstacle in the middle of the road that slows our pace and direction in traffic. As cars negotiate or navigate around the obstacle rather than simply allow for its removal (without being run over or maimed), we seem to indulge selfishly in being above removing the obstacle individually or collectively as a mindest because we are hampered by this mental block which causes a bottleneck in our social mobility, which by the way is of our own doing and ignorance. It is while we are trapped or delayed in this roadblock that we wish the hazard of racism as an obstacle simply wasn’t there to begin with — ironically.
The consideration of individual advantage prevents us from doing something that might nevertheless be of great benefit to the group as a whole. — John Platt
It can be terribly exhausting to live through this spectacle or the tyranny of small decisions, another aspect that belies social cohesion and underlies these social trappings. These small decisions either provide cover or illicit short term benefits that undermine sustainable long lasting social conditions for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Some of these small decisions also consists of granting or acceding to opportunists who parlay rugged American individualism and in turn simply add to the problem of racial discord and stratification in terms of bootstrapping, coonery, racial etiquette, and racial appeasement that only legitmates the scam behind the social construct without directly addressing humanity, equality and providing for a positive Matthew Effect for all members of society in general. If we fail to recognize these long term hazards then we will remain stuck inside this vicious cycle of racism for the foreseeable future.