It's weird but I've never understood racism. It's just not something that was ever around me when I was growing up. I grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood built in the late 50s - you know those tract homes that all look the same with the large picture windows on the front and the green lawns. Many of the original families are still living in the same homes. I grew up in my maternal grandparents house that they purchased in 1959 and my paternal grandparents still live around the corner in the house they bought in 1960.
In the early days I think all of the families were most likely white, but by the time I was growing up there in the late 80s my neighborhood friends were diverse. They were black, Thai, Filippino, middle eastern, Indian, latin, etc, etc. I really didn't see the difference between me and them. Race, or I should say racial differences, were never discussed - just a non issue. No one thought less of anyone else and no one thought more of themselves. I knew my friends had skin that was a different color, some of their facial features may have been different or the texture of their hair - but to me they were just like different flavors of ice cream - I loved them all. I can only hope that one day the rest of the world will catch up to that great little neighborhood I grew up in.