I think everyone has experienced some sort of racism, overt or more subtle. I also believe that we all have at least an inkling of subconscious racism, be it discomfort with those who don't look like us, or painting an entire race with too broad a brush.
As a light-skinned mulatto who speaks Spanish, I'm often mistaken for a Hispanic. Hispanics generally relate well to me because they know I try to relate to them.
The actor Pernell Roberts (known for his civil rights actvism) lamented that "church is the most segregated place in America on any given Sunday morning," and wondered how preachers could assert that we're all equal in God's eyes when they clearly don't believe it. Unfortunately, my own experiences with organized religion proved him right. They're also a major reason that I left Christianity. Among things I dealt with regularly from fundamentalists:
* God never meant for races to intermarry.
* "Why don't you do something about your hair?" (In other words, I should quit wearing it in its natural curly state, even though putting it up gives me headaches.)
* "I'm glad to worship with my white brothers and sisters. If you want to go to church with black people, go to a black church."
* "Are you BLACK or something?"
* A white pastor approached my (white) stepfather to ask him, "What's the story with Natasha? You know..."
* "Where are you from?" (Texas) "That's...not what I meant."
* Thin-lipped smirks from "nice church ladies" who saw me sitting with my white mother in church after coming home from college.
* Those same church ladies lambasting my mother for inviting a black visitor to sit with her for the service. (The pastor sided with my mother, by the way.)
That doesn't mean that blacks have always treated me with acceptance. Black students spread lies about me in high school and regularly harassed me for wearing my hair natural. They even called my house one year until my dad told them I didn't live there. Black neighbors regularly pointed and stared at me as I went to get my mail. Black colleagues have given me "go to Hades" looks—when they weren't sidling up to me to whisper conspiratorially, "So...you KNOW I have to ask, what nationality are you? Are you even American?"
So I appreciate the neighbors, colleagues, and students who don't hate me simply for being...me. I try to be nice to everyone. I just wish that more people would extend the same acceptance to me that I extend to them.