How many times have you heard someone say this? From the braying mouth of a politician hellbent on turning the civil rights clock back 100+ years to a close friend in conspiratorial whispers at a party, know this: if you hear people say the words, "I'm not racist (prejudiced, bigoted, discriminatory, etc. blah blah), but.."...THEY ARE.

We seem to have a great many out n' proud racists these days, all fired up and mad about President Obama stubbornly continuing to be half-black and all, but it's the "I'm not...but..." people I'd like to address today. Directly.

Please don't tell me how I couldn't possibly understand the cultural or geographical experiences that have led to you feeling justified in saying racist things, even though, needless to say, you are not a racist.

Please don't pepper your speech with racist talk, and then try to excuse it away as "a joke" or "c'mon, it's funny because it's true" or "those people say the same stuff, so I can too," because, of course, you are not a racist.

Please don't blanket claim that a group of millions of people are "savages," "stupid," "evil," "beyond hope," because that is exactly how millions of people like you are able to mentally turn fellow human beings into "the other" and slaughter them without a second thought, whether soldiers, women, or children, even if you have others do the dirty work for you.

If you have enough self-awareness and semi-compassion to know on some level that prejudice is a horrible thing when you start your "I'm not racist, but..." sentence, GO NO FURTHER. Man up, take out the "not" and replace the "but" with an "and" and try saying your thoughts again more sincerely. See how that works out.

What About Prejudice? - 1959 Educational Film